SEA Games 2019 opening simulation shows lapses in traffic management

Loreben Tuquero
SEA Games 2019 opening simulation shows lapses in traffic management
The MMDA aims to address the problem of private vehicles using the yellow lane and tailing convoys

MANILA, Philippines – Following the simulation of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019 opening ceremony, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spotted lapses in monitoring perpendicular roads and private vehicles, which could be detrimental during the actual event.

During the simulation on Thursday, November 14, private vehicles were seen plying along the yellow lane, potentially blocking the pathway of bus convoys that would transport delegates and officials during the event. 

Naging problema po namin dito ‘yung mga private vehicles na nakikipagsiksikan dito sa yellow lane, which is nauna na po nating naging advisory na ang yellow lane po ay imamaximize para po sa ating mga convoys,” said MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialago.

(The problem that we encountered was the private vehicles that were utilizing the yellow lane, even after we announced that the yellow lane will be maximized for the convoys.)

On November 30, the day of the opening ceremony, a stop-and-go scheme will be implemented along the affected routes. Bus convoys will be in different packages, meaning some are only accompanied by escorts, while some would also be accompanied by an ambulance and police cars.

Private vehicles were also seen tailing the bus convoys, which Pialago said would be unacceptable during the event. More enforcers are also needed to direct traffic coming from perpendicular roads, which could also block the convoys’ routes.

In addition, contingency plans were also tested with regard to potential accidents or emergencies. A simulated scenario occurred wherein the bus driver had a heart attack, causing the bus to crash onto another vehicle and thus injuring the passengers.

According to the security task force team on site, the ambulance was able to arrive in 3 minutes. In the event that a driver is incapacitated, the delegates should be transferred to another bus. However, during the simulation, a replacement bus did not arrive.

The MMDA along with other concerned agencies will need to address these gaps in time for the SEA Games 2019, which will run from November 30 to December 11.  –

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Loreben Tuquero

Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.