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Malls adopt ‘open-close late’ scheme

By: Anna Liza Villas-Alavaren

Shopping malls in Metro Manila will adopt the so-called “open-close late” scheme that sets their operating hours at 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. starting October 15 to help ease traffic during the holidays.

Jojo Garcia, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) assistant general manager for planning, said they hope to reduce at least 3,200 vehicles heading to malls during rush hour morning along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue.

“An average of 200 vehicles is lining up each mall every day by 9 am. In eight malls alone, we can remove 1,600 vehicles off the road during rush hour morning,” said Garcia, after meeting with mall operators on Friday morning.

There are 25 shopping malls on major roads in Metro Manila, 16 are located along Edsa alone.

Major traffic contributors are located in Quezon City Central Business District, Makati Central Business District, and Pasig Central Business District. Currently, mall operates from10 a.m. to 9 p.m. or 10 p.m.

“Shoppers have started trooping malls this month,” said Garcia, expressing optimism they can somehow ease travel time of motorists going to their workplaces.

Also, mall-wide sale events would be limited to Saturdays and Sundays.