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MANILA, Philippines -- Commuters and motorists should brace themselves for possible heavy traffic on Monday, May 21, and on Tuesday, May 22, around the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) area, where controversial singer Lady Gaga will hold a concert.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) also advised the public to avoid the area if they have no business going there.
“We are expecting na magkakaproblema talaga sa trapik bukas kaya ang abiso natin sa mga kababayan natin kung dadaan kayo sa area ng MOA at Roxas Boulevard ng mga alas singko ng hapon, mas mainam siguro mag-iba na lang kayo ng ruta, para di kayo maabala sa trapik (We are expecting some traffic problems tomorrow that's why we're warning our compatriots that if they are passing by he MOA and Roxas Boulevard area around 5 p.m. to take a different route so that you won't be delayed by the traffic),” MMDA Traffic Engineering Center Director Noemi Recio said Sunday during the agency’s weekly radio program.
Recio said they are in close coordination with the city government of Pasay as well as the management of MOA on the traffic management plan during the two-day concert.
At the same time, the agency said it is also preparing for the possible protest actions by religious groups and allied organizations who earlier denounced Lady Gaga’s concert as “anti-Christian” and “anti-Jesus Christ.”
Recio said MMDA would deploy enough traffic enforcerS, along with their counterparts from the local traffic bureau and the security officers of MOA, to handle the traffic situation and prevent a traffic gridlock.
Among the groups that vowed to hold protest actions were the BibleMode International founded by former Congressman Benny Abante and BibleMode Youth Philippines.
The groups said they have nothing against arts performances but that Lady Gaga’s concert has nothing to do with artistry.
Last Friday, former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza and election lawyer Romulo Macalintal met with Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto and urged him to cancel the concert but the latter said it would proceed even as he warned the concert organizers not to violate the regulations stipulated in the permit given by his office.
“Although we respect artistic and musical expressions, I won’t allow anyone or any group to provide acts which may be questionable in a way at any venue under my jurisdiction. We reminded the producers of Lady Gaga’s concert that the show and the event as a whole shall not exhibit any nudity or lewd concert which may be offensive to morals and good customs,” Calixto said.