Motorists should expect temporary inconveniences in Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City as President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is set to give his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) at Batasang Pambansa on Monday, July 25.
In an e-mail exchange with PhilSTAR L!fe, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said that there will be no road closures for the event. The agency instead developed a traffic rerouting scheme that it shared on Facebook on July 18.
According to MMDA's traffic rerouting plan, motorists heading northbound from Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) to Fairview are advised to take North Avenue from Elliptical Road, turn right at Mindanao Avenue, then turn right onto Sauyo Road, or take Quirino Highway, then Commonwealth Avenue to reach the point of destination.
Light vehicles from QMC going to Fairview may also take routes via Marikina.
- Light vehicles from Elliptical Road (QMC) should turn right at Maharlika St., turn left at Mayaman St., turn right at Maginhawa St., turn left at C.P. Garcia Avenue, turn right at Katipunan Ave., turn left at A. Bonifacio Ave., go straight to Gen. Luna Ave., turn right at Kambal Rd., turn left at GSIS Road, turn left at Jones St., turn right at Gen. Luna Ave., go straight to A. Mabini St., turn left at Rodriguez Highway, turn left at Payatas Road to reach the point of destination.
- Light vehicles from C5 Road may turn left at Magiting St., turn right at Maginhawa St., turn left at Mayaman St. to Kalayaan Avenue to reach the point of destination.
If you are traveling southbound from Fairview to QMC, you should take Sauyo Road or Quirino Highway from Commonwealth Avenue, turn left at Mindanao Avenue, and then turn left at North Avenue to reach the point of destination.
Meanwhile, all trucks coming from C-5 along Katipunan Avenue are advised to take the Luzon Flyover and turn left at Congressional Avenue to reach the point of destination.
To accommodate guests and government officials traveling to the Batasang Pambansa Complex, MMDA said they will implement a zipper lane on Commonwealth Avenue's southbound side.
In order to ensure that the alternate routes can be used in time for Marcos's SONA, Melgar added that the MMDA Task Force Special Operations and Anti-Colorum Unit, in coordination with the Quezon City government, will step up clearing operations to remove all kinds of road obstructions, including illegally parked vehicles.
According to MMDA's advisory, ambulances, tow trucks, fire trucks, mobile patrol units, motorcycle units, among others, will also be stationed along designated routes and staging areas.
Additionally, MMDA will deploy more than 1,000 personnel from the Traffic Discipline Office, Road Emergency Group, Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group, Flood Control, and Metrobase along Commonwealth Avenue and other roads leading up to and around the House of Representatives.
"Personnel assigned are tasked to manage both vehicular and pedestrian traffic; emergency response; clearing operations; assist in crowd control; and support the operations of the Task Force SONA 2022, Philippine National Police, National Capital Region Police Office, Quezon City Police District, Presidential Security Group, and Quezon City government to ensure a peaceful and orderly SONA," MMDA Officer-in-Charge Baltazar Melgar said in a statement released on July 18.
The last SONA of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2021 also saw the implementation of traffic rerouting scheme instead of road closures.
“The SONA template has been changed because of the pandemic. Before, we used to have road closures. But right now, as much as possible, we do not want to inconvenience people, especially on a Monday. We will try our best,” MMDA traffic chief Edison “Bong” Nebrija said.