By Aaron Recuenco | Manila Bulletin
The Sunday, Dec. 12, caravan of supporters of presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos and his runningmate Sara Duterte had minimal impact to traffic in the motorcade routes, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
MMDA General Manager Atty. Romando Artes said there were at least 900 vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, buses and SUVs which participated in the caravan.
Based on our assessment, the mega caravan was orderly. It was a result of proper coordination among the concerned parties and organizers’ commitment to self-policing,” said Artes.
“Proper coordination is the key to an orderly staging of such activities,” he added.
This was contrast with what happened in Quezon City on Dec. 8 when the same caravan caused monstrous traffic jams, with local officials blaming the incident to the alleged lack of coordination on the camp of Marcos and Duterte.
Based on the monitoring, the organizers deployed their own marshals, motorcade participants occupied one lane and finished their activity at 9 am.
On the part of the MMDA, a “no day-off, no absent” policy for MMDA traffic enforcers was implemented to ensure a smooth flow of traffic during the conduct of motorcade caravan. Further, the MMDA official urged organizers of motorcades and caravans to follow the guidelines to minimize traffic gridlocks in the National Capital Region.
“We recognize the efforts of our people, Philippine National Police and all concerned government officials, the organizers as well as the participants involved,” said Artes.
Artes said the positive result of the Sunday caravan would serve as a standard for the same activities in the future, emphasizing on coordination and planning.
“The same standard and procedure will be applied to all applicants for rally permit regardless of political party,” said Artes.
In the list of guidelines set, the MMDA shall regulate, evaluate, and issue permits for motorcades and/or caravans in the major thoroughfares of the capital region. Meanwhile, the concerned local government units are in charge of such activities on all other roads.
Motorcades and/or caravans shall only be permitted during weekends and holidays between 5 am to 10 am. The organizers should mobilize their own marshalls and secure permit from LGUs.
Organizers are required to finish the motorcade at 10 am. Also, motorcade participants should stay in designated lane to avoid inconvenience to the motoring public,” said Artes.
Also, organizers of these events would need to apply for a Roadway Private Utilization Permit (RPUP) with the MMDA and/or the concerned LGUs. They should state in their applications the full details of their event, including the name of the event, organizations involved, date, time, route, estimated number of motor vehicles, program of activities, and other relevant details.
Permiet and compliance
The application for permit shall be evaluated and issued by the MMDA and/or the concerned Metro Manila LGUs, with the consideration of a traffic management plan and undertaking of a public information and awareness campaign for the purpose.
The organizers of the motorcades and/or caravans shall comply with relevant laws such as Republic Act No. 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code), rules and regulations of the Land Transportation Office and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board as well as the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases pertaining to the COVID-19 minimum public health standards.
Any violation of the undertaking or material misrepresentation in the application shall be a ground to suspension, cancellation or revocation of RPUP.