DAGUPAN CITY — Vacationists from Manila taking off from their respective works have started to arrive in droves for the Christmas holiday in Pangasinan and may stay here till after the New Year.

This was bared by the Pangasinan Police which have placed all highways in Pangasinan under watch to ensure the safety of motorists and commuters and the success of its Operation “Paskuhan”.

Anticipating traffic bottleneck along the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway in Urdaneta City where its northernmost exit is located, the police called on other motorists to take the Maguilas Trail east of Rosales starting from Sta. Maria town to Binalonan via Asingan.

The police in Pangasinan and in the entire country–implementing Operation Paskuhan– is on heightened alert because of the Christmas holidays with no policeman allowed to go on leave.

The TPLEX was reported to be now experiencing heavy traffic in view of the big number of motorists also going to Baguio this holiday season.

Buses and cars bound for Dagupan were advised to take a diversion road from Barangay Nancayasan in Urdaneta to Barangay Sto. Domingo and Palina West before reaching the Dagupan-Urdaneta road.

An official of the Land Transportation and Franchising Board (LTFRB) confirmed that they are conducting inspection on all passenger buses to ensure that they are really road-worthy to ensure the safety of motorists.

It was learned that several Manila buses were given permits by LTFRB to commute passengers from Manila to the provinces due to the shortages of existing provincial buses commuting passengers to Pangasinan.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PRRMO) is also on heightened alert as there may be vacationists who may go to the beaches and rivers to swim.

Avenix Arenas, PRRMO spokesperson, said the Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) team, medical team and the police are on standby near the beaches and rivers to be able to assist swimmers and beachcombers needing help. PNA/