Local government employs more public safety measures for Christmas season.
As Christmas Day is fast approaching, more shoppers abound in the metro day and night. Thus, the government employs more traffic and security measures for the public’s safety. In Divisoria, Manila, the city’s bargain shopping destination, for example, more streetlights have been installed to welcome shoppers for the holiday rush. New lamp posts have also been installed in other Manila commercial and tourist areas such as Dapitan, Malate, Ermita, Taft Avenue, and many more.
LRT adds one hour of daily service for holiday season.
The Light Rail Transit Line 1, the major train transportation from Monumento to Baclaran, extends its operations up to 11:00 PM starting December 03 until December 23, 2016. More northbound trains coming from Baclaran station will also be added. This extension means seven extra trips will be added this month in anticipation of more late-night commuters due to holiday season-related events and activities.
Amidst authorities’ recent implementation of new traffic regulations to lessen traffic congestion in the city, commuters and private vehicle owners are still advised to be more patient especially this Christmas season. “It will never improve,” according to MMDA-IACT officer-in-charge Tim Orbos and that they are pleading to the public to sacrifice for now.
International and domestic flights to be launched in Clark Airport
Image: Philippine Airlines
In response to President Duterte’s call to decongest Manila airports, the Philippine Airlines is providing their first regular international and domestic flights from Clark, Pampanga. On December 16, the very first Clark-Caticlan flight will be made available for bookings. PAL has also announced to add more direct flights from Clark starting January 2017. This includes daily Cebu flights, three Cagayan de Oro flights a week, four Davao flights a week, weekly flights to Busuanga , and daily flights to Incheon, South Korea.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. released a statement last December 1 clarifying that the government is not placing the entire Philippines under terror alert. This clarification has been issued after Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa announced that the whole nation has been placed under terror alert level 3. Esperon reiterated that it is only Davao, Cotabato, and Zamboanga that are under a terror alert. Meanwhile, the PNP is still on heightened alert all-over the country just to ensure order and security during the holiday season.
Intensified security after bomb scare
Police officers were seen patrolling around the US Embassy on November 29, Tuesday, after an improvised explosive device (IED) was discovered in Roxas Boulevard Monday morning. The Philippine National Police positioned a mobile checkpoint on standby near the embassy to maximize their security measures against alleged terrorist threats. Everyone is advised to take high precautions and report suspicious objects or packages to authorities for appropriate response.
Freedom of Information takes effect
After decades of fighting for the right to know, Filipino citizens can now access government information with the launch of Freedom of Information on November 25. President Duterte signed the Executive Order (EO) 2 last July after he assumed office in Malacañang Palace. Desired information is available upon request on the online platform called e-FOI (https://www.foi.gov.ph/) and is currently limited to 15 agencies under the Office of the President Executive Branch. Freedom of Information allows the Filipino people to request “any information about government transactions, operations, provided that it shall not put into jeopardy privacy and matters of national security.” 
Metro Manila will be shaded with overcast sky along with periods of showers. Cold breeze can be felt in the morning as Christmas day approaches. However, the presence of sunshine can still be expected throughout the week. Those who are going on Christmas shopping are advised to bring an umbrella or wear a cap and don comfortable clothes to avoid hassle.
About Karen Grace Libao
Karen writes for a living and for fun. She started her writing career in 2014 when she worked as Content Manager for a women’s website and never looked back since. On her free time, she tries to catch up on her current reads, seeing independently-produced films, watching theatre plays, and attending live music and open mic gigs. She dreams of becoming a published writer and film producer in the future.
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