Camp Aguinaldo open to traffic by end-November

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — If you often languish in traffic near Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, a Christmas treat may have come sooner than expected.

By the end of the month, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, will open the gates of Camp Aguinaldo for motorists driving from EDSA to Katipunan Avenue and White Plains in Quezon City.

MMDA Chairman Tim Orbos said in a Thursday press conference that the military base will open Gates 3, 5 and 6 from Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Travel time from Katipunan to EDSA Santolan via Boni Serrano usually takes an hour because of slow traffic, but when driving through Camp Aguinaldo — by entering Gate 6 and exiting at Gate 3 — the trip would only take five minutes.

Meanwhile, for drivers coming from White Plains to EDSA Santolan, the usually half-hour journey can be done in just two minutes, even at a speed of 40 km/h inside the camp.

However, motorists will need to buy an access pass and be subjected to the camp's security procedures. Officials will begin accepting applications for the pass starting Nov. 21.

"Para hindi ma-compromise yung access ng Camp Aguinaldo [So that access to Camp Aguinaldo isn't compromised], we have to validate the documents of the applicant," said Camp Aguinaldo deputy commander Col. Agane Adriatico.

Motorists may visit the MMDA's main office along EDSA in Makati or its satellite office in Camp Aguinaldo. They must fill out the application form, have their picture taken and present the vehicle's certificate of registration.

The MMDA said the scheme will clear EDSA — which has 7,500 vehicles an hour per direction as of July 2016 — of around 200 vehicles per hour. EDSA has a maximum capacity of just 6,000 vehicles an hour per direction.

Aside from allowing access to government-owned facilities, the MMDA will also open in two weeks a passage to Jupiter St. in Makati City, which would allow southbound motorists to avoid Ayala Avenue.

And starting Thursday, motorycle drivers can use the inner lanes of EDSA and C-5 during rush hour from 7-10 a.m. and 4-7 p.m.