At least 23 motorist assistance centers (MACs) will be put up along national roads in Bicol in anticipation of an influx of motorists this “Undas” or the All Saints’ Day on Nov. 1 and All Souls’ Day on Nov. 2.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) director for Bicol Virgilio Eduarte said in an interview on Wednesday putting up the MACs on main thoroughfares is part of the “Lakbay Alalay” program of the agency in the coordination of Philippine National Police, Land Transportation Office and concerned local government units (LGUs).
He said the MACs will start operating at 7 a.m. on Oct. 28 until noon on Nov. 2 to ensure smooth traffic on national roads leading to public and private cemeteries as huge volumes of vehicles are expected during “Undas.”
Eduarte said he instructed all the project engineers to install appropriate traffic advisory regarding the locations and corresponding distances of entry and exit points for alternate routes.
He added the maintenance division of the DPWH regional office has formed a skeletal force to monitor the traffic flows.
DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan issued a memorandum last Oct. 21 to activate a composite team, including an anchorman from the regional and district/city offices who will assist the traveling public on strategic locations of the national highways.
Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO-5) has started to deploy 4,617 police officers in different parts of the region to ensure a safe and peaceful observance of “Undas.”
In a statement, Brig. Gen. Rudolph Dimas, PRO-5 chief, said early preparations were to give way to people who are expected to flock to cemeteries to visit their departed loved ones.
“For the past years, we have restricted the movements of our people due to the fear and danger brought by the pandemic. This year will be different, we are expecting an influx of people in the cemeteries and memorial parks to do their usual traditions in remembering their departed loved ones. That is why we have exhausted all means possible to make this the safest Undas after the pandemic,” he said.
All unit commanders have coordinated with the LGUs in their respective areas for the implementation of guidelines to prevent incidents that may disrupt the activity, Dimas said.
Police presence has been intensified in several crowded and frequented areas such as malls, transport terminals, churches, and resorts.
Some 276 police assistance desks and command posts will be established, backed up with continuous mobile and foot patrol on the streets to prevent crimes.
Around 5,154 personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and advocacy support groups will join police deployments. (PNA)