The Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (i-ACT), spearheaded by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), has taken to banning weekday sales in an effort to ease the worsening traffic conditions in Metro Manila, especially in the coming holiday season. The i-ACT and mall operators have recently agreed that from Oct. 21, 2016 to Jan. 9, 2017, mall sales will be strictly held on weekends.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Chief Supt. Antonio Gardiola, head of the Philippine National Police’s Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), as saying mall operators will have to submit to the i-ACT their traffic plan two weeks before their planned sale. Gardiola also said they will no longer allow motorists to stay on the road while queueing at any mall's parking space.

The i-ACT will also propose during the meeting with mall operators on Thursday the implementation of a 12 midnight to 5 AM delivery window for products. Gardiola also disclosed they are finalizing the late-opening and late-closing scheme for malls. In the said scheme, malls will open at 11 AM and close at 11 PM.

I-ACT is the super body created by the government in August to coordinate traffic-related measures. Aside from the DOTr, other members of the council are the the PNP-HPG, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board.

Meanwhile, Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo, who chairs the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, has pressed the government and the private sector for the early release of 13th month pay to workers. Castelo said this would help ease traffic jams during the Christmas season.

Manila Bulletin reported Castelo as saying if employers will release early their workers' 13th month pay and bonuses, people can do their holiday shopping earlier before traffic peaks in the three weeks leading to Christmas. He said this suggestion can prevent “carmageddon,” or what he describes as a situation when traffic is at a virtual standstill as if it is the end of the world.

What are your suggestions to ease Metro Manila traffic during the holiday season? Share to us your thoughts in the comment section below.