Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis N. Tolentino Friday (March 23) activated Oplan Metro Alalay Semana Santa 2012 (MASS 2012) to address the expected traffic congestion during the Holy Week exodus and the influx of motorists on Easter Sunday and Monday.

Oplan MASS 2012 will be headed by MMDA Assistant General Manager for Operations Atty. Emerson Carlos, with Traffic Discipline Office OIC Atty. Yves Gonzalez as Assistant Head. Atty. Carlos confirmed a “No Day-Off and No Absent” Policy on Holy Wednesday and Thursday, as well as on Easter Sunday and Monday.

On Holy Monday, April 2, up to Holy Wednesday, April 4, MMDA traffic enforcers will be posted at transport terminals and traffic choke points, and at popular churches and pilgrimage sites on Maundy Thursday, April 5, and Good Friday, April 6.

Command posts will be set up at the South Luzon and North Luzon Expressway entry points from Holy Monday to early morning of Maundy Thursday, then from Black Saturday to Easter Sunday.

The Agency’s Traffic Discipline Office will seek assistance from the PNP-NCRPO and PNP-HPG at traffic choke points to increase police visibility and prevent acts of terrorism, assist in apprehending traffic violators and ease traffic congestion. The Agency will also coordinate with the AFP, DPWH, DOTC/ LTFRB/ LTO, local traffic bureau chiefs and Bureau of Fire Protection and Fire Volunteer Groups.

Tolentino added that the Agency’s Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group (SCOG) and Parking Discipline Office (PDO) teams will assist traffic enforcers in managing traffic in major roads and critical areas.

The MMDA chief assured that the agency’s traffic personnel will be on hand to assist motorists and commuters. The public can also call Metrobase Hotline 136 for periodic traffic updates and requests for assistance.

The MMDA’s Facebook and Twitter account will  also be open 24/7 during the Holy Week to accept and respond to inquiries.

Tolentino advised the public to avoid EDSA during Holy Wednesday and Holy Thursday as much as possible and instead use the following alternate routes known as the Mabuhay Lanes:

The Mabuhay Lanes start at both North and South entry points of EDSA. For northbound motorists going south, they may use McArthur Highway, right turn to Samson Road, C-4/Letre, R-10, A. Bonifacio, Roxas Boulevard to destination.

Motorists coming from the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) can exit at various points, most importantly at the newly constructed Mindanao Avenue access ramp.

From South to North, the Mabuhay lanes start at Coastal Road and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).