ANGELES CITY – This city of more than 300,000 people, as well as the adjacent Clark Freeport Zone, is now in a virtual lockdown as part of the security measures for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation(APEC) First Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM-1).
As some 1,700 APEC SOM-1 delegates started streaming into the Clark Freeport, the Angeles City Police Office (ACPO) and the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) implemented new traffic re-routing schemes and road closures in the different parts of the city and the freeport as the national government deployed some 3,740 policemen to help secure the area.
First to be affected are the roads in and around the Clark Freeport. M.L. Quezon Avenue in front of the Mimosa Leisure Estate at the freeport which leads to Air Force City is now virtually closed to traffic except for APEC SOM- 1 delegates.
Policemen and security personnel flag down every vehicle for inspection and advised motorists to take alternate routes. The section of Gil Puyat Avenue, also in Clark, near the Air Force City Officers’ Club is off limits except for APEC SOM-1 delegates.
Scores of policemen and security personnelare also seen in every corner. Don Juico Avenue here just outside the freeport is blocked. Vehicular traffic is rerouted to Malabanias Road. Scores of policemen, traffic enforcers and barangay tanods converge in every corner.
Traffic is heavy along Narciso Avenue because it is now used by all motorists going to Balibago from Friendship Highway and vice versa. Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan appealed to the public for patience and warned them to brace for heavy traffic near the APEC affected roads.
This developed as the roundabout at the junction of MacArthur Highway in Barangay Balibago and First Street here and M. Roxas Avenue which leads to the Clark Freeport was inaugurated on Monday.
Leading the inaugural rites for the roundabout were Mayors Pamintuan and Marino “Boking” Morales of Mabalacat City; Bases Conversion Development Authority President Paciano Casanova, CDC President-CEO Arthur Tugade, and Chairman Eliseo Santiago as well as other officials.
“The roundabout will complement the newly widened MacArthur Highway where we have also removed the unsightly electric posts with dangling spaghetti wires,” said Pamintuan.