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ICYMI: NCR malls are adjusting their operating hours for Christmas shopping season

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Nov 10, 2022 9:02 pm Updated Nov 10, 2022 9:03 pm

Christmas shopping season is here and as it usually comes with dreadful traffic jam, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and mall operators have agreed to adjust the operating hours of shopping centers in the National Capital Region (NCR) starting next week.

In a meeting with mall representatives on Tuesday, Nov. 8, MMDA acting chairman Romando Artes said that from Nov. 14 to Jan. 6, malls in NCR will open at 11 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. The move aims to "reduce traffic congestion" expected during the holidays.

If you're planning to shop for bargains, make sure to schedule it on a weekend, as mall operators are also prohibited from holding mall-wide sales during weekdays.

"Mall-wide sales will be only allowed during weekends," Artes continued. "Also, deliveries will be from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. only. Exempted from the regulation are deliveries of perishable goods, restaurants serving breakfast, and groceries."

Mall operators, meanwhile, are mandated to submit traffic management plans and schedules of their sale events two weeks ahead of implementation. 

“We will make a further study on their traffic management plan. We will deploy the necessary number of traffic enforcers to man the traffic,” he said.

While the adjusted mall hours are scheduled to be lifted on the first Friday of 2023, Artes said that it can be lifted before then, depending on the traffic situation after Christmas.

He explained, "We will observe the traffic situation in the metropolis on December 26. If the traffic is normal and manageable, we will immediately lift the restrictions and announce it to the public."