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Press Release

September 13, 2014

Official Reaction of MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino to Mayor Erap's Lifting of Truck Ban

I thank the good mayor of Manila for his concern in trying to find solutions to decongest the Port of Manila. As we revert back to the pre-Manila ordinance situation, I am confident that with the help of all concerned private and government stakeholders, a sustainable solution will be crafted.

I will immediately convene the Metro Manila Mayors Special Traffic Committee to craft a responsive scheme that will incorporate the city of Manila's efforts with that of the national government.

Press Release

September 13, 2014

MMDA to Open San Joaquin Ferry Station on Monday

Common woes of heavy traffic on the road of hundreds of commuters from one of the biggest barangays in Pasig City will likely be minimized.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will open to Pasiguenos its new San Joaquin passenger terminal in the city for the Pasig River ferry service on Monday (Sept.15).

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentin said the San Joaquin station is the 7th of the original 11 ferry stations that have been repaired and refurbished by the MMDA, in coordination with the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) and other concerned government agencies, to provide an alternative mode of transport to commuters amidst the present traffic congestion problem resulting from the numerous ongoing infrastructure projects of the government in Metro Manila, the port congestion included.

Tolentino said at least five MMDA ferry boats will pick up passengers from San Joaquin linking up to four existing routes namely; Guadalupe, Makati City, Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Plaza Mexico in Intramuros and Escolta, all in the city of Manila.

He said the opening of the San Joaquin station is expected to increase ridership for the river ferry system which she claimed has reached 36,742 as of September 6 since the project was launched on April 28 this year.

Tolentino will lead the opening ceremonies at the new terminal where two trash boats donated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will be turned over to the MMDA.

DENR Secretary Ramon Paje, Pasig City Mayor Maribel Eusebio and PRRC officials will grace the occasion.

The Pasig River Ferry system is an inter-agency being pushed by the Department of Transportation and Communication, MMDA, PRRC and local government officials.

Alternate Routes for the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project

Alternate Routes for the Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. / Makati Ave. - Paseo De Roxas Underpass Project

Alternate Routes for the NAIA Expressway Phase II Construction Project

Alternate Routes for the C2 - R7 Flyover Construction Project

Press Release

September 7, 2014

The government has come up with remedial measures to address the worsening traffic situation in Balintawak, Quezon City and other parts of Metro Manila where trailer and cargo trucks traverse to and from the Ports of Manila.

In an emergency meeting presided over by MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, together with Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson,Metro Mayors concerned, North Luzon Expressway, Philippine National Police officials and Gen. Allen Bartolo of Highway Patrol Group, "Task Force Pantalan" spearheaded by MMDA was formed, among other things, to ease the traffic gridlock triggered by the port congestion problem.

Task Force Pantalan head is Gen. Allen Bartolo with the agency's traffic head Crisanto Saruca as his deputy and local government units representatives as members.

It was agreed upon during the meeting that the MMDA shall take over traffic management of all roads in several parts of Metro Manila adversely affected by the port traffic from here on until Sept. 21.

Effective immediately, until Sunday (Sept. 21), all Class A and D vehicles, including shuttle buses will be allowed to counterflow in NLEX, while the Balintawak toll plaza will be temporarily closed to give way to private vehicles.

Counterflow traffic scheme will also be allowed at Del Pan Bridge in Tondo, Manila to hasten the flow of trucks and trailer vans.

Two lanes along R-10 road spanning the cities of Navotas, Caloocan and Manila will now be opened to trucks.

Press Release

September 5, 2014

MMDA Issues Clarification on One-Truck Lane Policy

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) today clarified that it is not implementing the one-truck lane policy along A. Bonifacio – North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) area.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino issued the clarification to dispel public confusion and misinformation caused by an NLEX post on the social network site Twitter this morning that the cause of traffic along A. Bonifacio is the one-truck lane policy being implemented by the agency. "The horrendous traffic along A. Bonifacio today is caused by the long queue of container trucks going to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) premises."

"The processing time for the container trucks to enter the port leaves too much to be desired. And that is the reason why these trucks ended up lining A. Bonifacio and has resulted to severe traffic congestion going to NLEX. The A. Bonifacio has reached its full capacity stretching all the way to NLEX. The public should understand that the problem is within the jurisdiction of the PPA, it is internal," Tolentino said.

The MMDA chief stressed that the one-truck lane policy is only being implemented along C-5 only, and that it has no effect on the roads leading to the Port of Manila.

Press Release

September 4, 2014

Chairman Francis Tolentino of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) today asked a local outdoor advertising firm to delete the obtrusive content of its advertising billboards that line Epifanio delos Santos Ave. (Edsa) and J.P. Rizal Extension, both in Guadalupe, Makati City.

Tolentino asked the advertiser to roll down their billboards in the area and revise immediately their content which was found to have sexual overtones and offensive to the morals, especially the youth, and the general public as well.

The MMDA chief took the move after prelates of the Catholic Church called his attention on the matter.

The advertiser's clothing line client launched recently its new line of sports wear and have put up billboards showing a half-nude young couple clad in skimpy denim shorts. The contents of the billboards read: "Come and Play", "Temptation Calls" and "Express your Hidden Desires."

"We cannot afford this kind of profane language being used in billboards to go unabated because this might lead to the breakdown of the morals of the public," Tolentino said.

"While the MMDA respects the advertising industry's self-regulation agreement with the government, it is incumbent upon its members to exercise some amount of prudence before they decide to put up advertising signs in public."

As of press time, the advertiser immediately acceded to Tolentino's request to delete the offensive language in his billboards.

Press Release

September 2, 2014

Chairman Francis Tolentino of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is optimistic that the Supreme Court (SC) will decide in favor of the government’s public service mandate following the petition of Albay Governor Joey Salceda before the high court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the provincial bus ban in Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).

In an interview over DZRJ AM radio station, Tolentino said he looks forward to the Office of the Solicitor General's reply to Salceda’s petition would center on Executive Order 202 centering on the Public Service Act and other legal statutes that national government projects are not TRO-able, even as he stressed that he welcomes the governor's petition because he said this would broaden jurisprudence concerning the real definition of what public convenience is.

"So I look forward to that day when we will be asked by the SC to reply but historically, when we were likewise attempted to be TRO'd when we opened the Southwest Interim Provincial terminal, the high court did not lift a finger on several petitions filed."

Tolentino did not discount the possibility of Salceda having been misinformed on the real issues surrounding the ban on the entry of passenger of buses from the Bicol region into Metro Manila and restricting them to a common terminal in Muntunlupa City citing that the provincial buses being stopped are colorum and out-of-line vehicles.

"I think the facts will sustain us because these buses are colorums, out-of-line, so what happened is that every time they traverse EDSA, or enter Magallanes, or Buendia, or EDSA-Pasay-Taft, they are apprehended. What happens is that the riders will be asked to disembark the bus because the bus will be impounded," he said.

"I think everybody knows that we in government are doing everything possible to solve the traffic congestion problem along EDSA and other major thoroughfares because this has become a social malaise affecting the lives of our countrymen and the efficient delivery of goods in the country," Tolentino added.

The MMDA chief further explained that what the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) did is to rationalize the bus franchises and decided that the best end point would be in Alabang instead of the impounding areas because they are colorum. "I think the facts sway positively in favor of the government because it is providing convenience to those coming from the Bicol region, to board a legitimate bus with a franchise ending in a recognized terminal."

Tolentino also pointed out that legitimate buses will not be stopped under the scheme.

Also during the interview, he said that he has yet to receive a copy of the petition.

Press Release

August 29, 2014

MMDA To Test-Run One Truck Lane Policy Tomorrow

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA)will conduct a test-run of the one truck lane policy along C-5 tomorrow morning.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the measure is aimed to address traffic congestion in the whole stretch of C-5 caused by a huge increase in the volume of trucks passing through C-5.

"Studies showed that there is an 80% increase in the total volume of trucks plying along C-5 during the granting of provisional authorities to trucks for hire applicants and the no apprehension policy by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board," Tolentino said.

Pursuant to Resolution Number 05 Series of 2014 of the Special Traffic Committee of the Metro Manila Council, the following truck ban rules in Metro Manila will be adopted starting September 1 until January 31 next year:

  • during the truck hours from Monday to Saturday, including Sundays and holidays, trucks shall only use the innermost lane along C-5 and shall strictly observe the one-lane policy.
  • to ensure the efficient implementation of the one-truck lane policy, u-turn slots along C-5 shall be closed except those under the flyovers, and signalized intersections shall be opened.
  • at no time during the whole day will container trucks be allowed to park on any street along C-5.
  • trucks who fail to observe the one-truck lane policy shall be apprehended and fined P2,000, which is the corresponding penalty to truck ban violation. MMDA shall recommend the blacklisting of the trucking company.

In relation to this, the MMDA will close a total of seven u-turn slots along C-5. At least 70 traffic enforcers and auxiliaries will be deployed to manage the traffic situation in the area.

Note: Private vehicles shall also be allowed to use the truck lane during truck ban hours.

Press Release

August 29, 2014

North Interim Provincial Bus Terminal to be Operational Next Month

Preparations are underway to transform a swampy and disheveled one-hectare lot into an interim North provincial bus terminal in Caloocan City as end-point for at least 376 provincial buses from Northern Luzon in a bid to solve the perennial traffic congestion problem along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).

Stakeholders at yesterday's meeting led by MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, together with Camanava Mayors Oscar Malapitan of Caloocan City, Antolin Oreta of Malabon City, John Rey Tiangco of Navotas and Land Transportation and Franchising Board Chairman Winston Ginez, jointly announced that before September ends, the said idle privately-owned lot near the Monumento Rotunda would be ready to accommodate the provincial buses coming from Pangasinan, Tarlac and other parts of Northern Luzon.

According to Tolentino, the MMDA and Camanava local governments will pool their efforts to flatten and tidy up the open space in about two weeks time to beat the September deadline for its opening.

"All available resources and manpower will be on hand to speed up the rehabilitation of the North terminal," the MMDA chief said, even as he explained that an inter-modal system is already in place nearby where passengers disembarking from the provincial buses can easily access to a jeepney terminal on the eastern side, and the Light Rail Transit Line 1 and city buses, both along EDSA.

Tolentino said these buses will only be allowed up to Monumento only and that they are also illegally traversing EDSA because there is no legitimate terminal in Monumento.

Earlier this week, the MMDA, together with LTFRB and the city government of Muntinlupa, opened the South Interim Provincial Terminal in Filinvest, Alabang for passenger buses coming from Southern Luzon.

The opening of interim provincial terminals south and north of Metro Manila was hatched after Metro Manila mayors, MMDA, and LTFRB agreed to no longer allow provincial PUBs to ply EDSA to reduce the volume of vehicles traversing EDSA.

According to Tolentino, the government is relentlessly addressing all legitimate concerns regarding the operations of these interim terminals.

"These terminals are temporary and will cease operations once the constructions of the integrated transport hubs are completed. Everyone, including the bus operators, drivers, passengers, and the government need to adjust and cooperate so we can have discipline and order on our roads," he added.

Press Release

August 28, 2014

MMDA Provides 'Libreng Sakay' Along EDSA

In a bid to help commuters displaced by the glitches in the operations of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), since Tuesday, has dispatched three military trucks to ferry passengers from EDSA - Mother Ignacia to EDSA - Ayala southbound for free.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the trucks are being dispatched daily from 7:30 until 10:00 in the morning. "Two trucks are dedicated for passengers coming from the EDSA - Mother Ignacia area, while one truck services the entire stretch of Ayala going to EDSA."

The 'Libreng Sakay' scheme came on the heels of the recent technical problems that has affected the operations of the MRT-3 and has stranded thousands of passengers, especially during peak hours.

According to Tolentino, the trucks will provide free rides until tomorrow (Friday).

"We are continuously looking for ways to provide essential services to the public and at the same time improve traffic situation in the metropolis," Tolentino said.

Press Release

August 23, 2014

C-5 - Green Meadows to be Closed for Construction of Pedestrian Footbridge

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) today announced the closure of the southbound lane of C-5 - Green Meadows tonight from 11 p.m. until 4 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday) to give way to the construction of a pedestrian footbridge.

Chairman Francis Tolentino said the closure of the major thoroughfare is essential to ensure unconstrained installation of the footbridge girder. "This will likewise prevent any unnecessary vehicular accidents."

Tomorrow (Sunday), at 11 p.m., the northbound lane of C-5 - Green Meadows will be closed until 4 a.m. Monday.

According to Tolentino, zipper lanes will be opened to guarantee smooth flow of traffic.

"We are optimistic that traffic will not be heavy as construction will be done over the weekend until Monday which is a holiday," the MMDA chief added.

The pedestrian footbridge is a project of the Department of Public Works and Highways - Road Board.

Traffic Advisory: The Magallanes Fly-over along South Super Highway (SB) going to Alabang shall be closed to traffic from August 8 to 17, 2014, in line with the DPWH's Magallanes Interchange Rehabilitation Project.

All affected vehicles are advised to take the service road. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Magallanes Fly-over Traffic Advisory

Traffic Advisory: To give way to the on-going project of DPWH - Magallanes Interchange Rehabilitation Project, EDSA - Taft Ave. shall be opened to all left-turning vehicles coming rom Roxas Blvd. only - from August 9 (Saturday) to August 17, 2014 (Sunday).

Magallanes Fly-over Traffic Advisory

MMDA Extends Operating Hours of Pasig River Ferry Starting June 1

Starting June 1, before the opening of school year 2014-2015, the operating hours of the revived Pasig River ferry service will be extended to accommodate more passengers, especially students going back to school, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced today. read more.

In view of the 23rd World Economic Forum: MMDA To Implement One-Day Modified Truck Ban Along Roxas Boulevard and Osmena Highway on May 22

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will be implementing a temporary modified truck ban scheme along Roxas Boulevard and Osmena Highway on Thursday, May 22, to give way to the upcoming 23rd World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia to be hosted by the Philippines. read more.

MMDA Issues Clarification on Truck Ban Suspension

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) today clarified that despite the lifting of the truck ban eight days effective yesterday both in Manila and the rest of Metro Manila, the existing truck ban rules in the metropolis are not applicable in Edsa where total truck ban is still observed and along C-5, Katipunan, Commonwealth Ave. and all other routes. read more.

View Previous News Articles

Latest Blog Posts & Articles About MMDA

"River run" - Article published in The Philippine Daily Inquirer (inquirer.net) on March 9, 2014

The revival of the Pasig River Ferry comes across as an afterthought, but it's a welcome idea just the same in view of the traffic gridlock feared to occur when an estimated 15 road projects get underway all at the same time in Metro Manila. (As it is, the traffic situation is a recurring nightmare.) read more.

"Try breaking a leg..." - Article published in Manila Bulletin (mb.com.ph) on March 7, 2014

Chairman Francis Tolentino's version of a "Ferry" boat ride was not pretty but it certainly showed what a "Can Do" attitude can do. The MMDA head was clearly trying to send the message down the Pasig River that we need the ferry system and it can be done if the administration simply prioritized it. In the meantime, I would suggest to Chairman Tolentino to unload the van and replace them with monobloc benches that can be bolted on to the floor of the tug. Then he can go to Shell Canvass or to Divisoria and buy gauge 200 tarp, a few 3/4" GI pipes and have a canopy made. I'll even volunteer to supervise it!

Government officials who display a willingness to listen as well as a "Can Do" attitude deserve our support. Keep it up Chairman. read more.

"MMDA launches 2014 Metrofest" - Article published in The Philippine Star (philstar.com) on March 7, 2014

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) recently launched the annual Metro Manila Film Festival Philippines (MMFFP) simultaneous with an appreciation dinner for winners of last year's film festival. read more.

"Pasig River Ferry Run Starts Next Month" - Article published in The Malaya Business Insight (malaya.com.ph) on March 7, 2014

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority yesterday said by last week of April, its fleet of passenger boats will start its operations together with some private companies. read more.

"The MMDA shouldn't blink" - Article published in The Philippine Star (philstar.com) on September 4, 2013

With all due respect to the strong-willed MMDA chairman, the Honorable Francis Tolentino, our unsolicited advice as he is faced with all sorts of protests, mostly from bus operators is "not to blink and go for it." read more.

"Palace lukewarm to Metro proposal" - Article published in Manila Bulletin (mb.com.ph) on August 1, 2013

"We believe that Chairman Tolentino has done a good job of coordinating with the mayors and making sure that all the mayors are in agreement with the solutions provided by MMDA and that MMDA Chairman Tolentino is also open to the recommendations of the city mayors," [Lacierda] added. read more.

"Cavite Mayors Support MMDA's Southwest Integrated Terminal" - Article published in The Daily Tribune (tribuneonline.org) on August 1, 2013

Mayors in Cavite province have pledged support to the Southwest Integrated Terminal project of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) which, they said, will put order to the operations of the legitimate passenger buses plying the Cavite-Manila route. read more.

"MMDA honors wounded workers" - Article published in The Philippine Daily Inquirer (INQUIRER.net) on April 18, 2013

They often come within inches of passing vehicles as they tend to the plants or wield a broom. But on some unlucky days, they end up down on the curb, hurting and bleeding. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) drew attention to the largely unheralded services rendered by its army of street cleaners, with a ceremony on Monday honoring those who had been injured or stricken with disease in the line of duty. read more.

"Ibawal din ang alak" - Editorial published in Pilipino Star Ngayon on January 17, 2013

HINDI lamang baril ang dapat ipagbawal sa election time kundi pati na rin ang alak. Kung gaano kahaba ang gun ban ganundin kahaba ang ipairal sa pagbabawal sa alak. Ito ay para matiyak na magiging mapayapa ang pagdaraos ng May 13, 2013 elections. Kapag ang alak ay hindi nailagay nang maayos sa tiyan, gulo ang idinudulot. Marami nang katibayan na ang alak ay nagiging ugat ng karahasan. At kung ang alak ay isisilbi sa panahong may election, maaaring maging ugat ng mga kaguluhan. read more.

"Finding MMDA" - Article published in Tempo on December 13, 2012

Has Metro Manila finally found a manager � his title is chairman � who understands what drivers, commuters, and pedestrians want? I never thought I'd say it, but MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino seems to have gotten over his learning curve � he's actually solving or has solved a lot of problems. read more.

"The hanging gardens of EDSA" - Article published in The Philippine Star on November 28, 2012

That headline is from Charie Villa. I took it from her Facebook post in her Tao Po page. It is about the laudable attempt of MMDA to blunt the sharp edge of our concrete jungle by introducing some greenery on EDSA. If we can't help being stuck on EDSA traffic, it would be nice to see something cool and green. read more.

"Showbiz is all praises for MMDA's Francis Tolentino" - Article published in The Manila Times.net on November 16, 2012

At the announcement of official entries to the 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) on Monday, the most applause was neither given to Superstar Nora Aunor or box office comedy actors Ai-Ai delas Alas and Vice Ganda who generously graced the jam-packed news conference. read more.

"Bravo sa bike lanes!" - Editorial published in Abante on November 16, 2012

Sa wakas! Natupad din ang matagal nang "kwentong kutsero" na paglalagay ng bicycle lanes. Sa ngayon ay sa lungsod ng Maynila pa lang pero sinisiguro ng Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) na gagawan ng bike lanes ang bawat kalye ng Metro Manila. read more.

"The MMDA frenzy" - Article published in The Philippine Star (philSTAR.com) on July 16, 2012

How can you expect MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino to solve our traffic frenzy? Other government sectors especially the LTO and LTFRB must come into the picture to help and support this fight. But it seems that no one is lending a hand. The public only sees Chairman Tolentino doing all the work. Susmariosep! The LTO, LTFRB, DPWH, DOTC and the LGUs should start working together with the MMDA to get rid of this horrific problem. read more.

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