MAY 20, 2013
Tolentino Launches MMDA Traffic Mirror
Monitoring traffic flow in Metro Manila's major thoroughfares is now as easy as using your smartphone or tablet computer.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) launched today the "MMDA Traffic Mirror", a website that allows motorists to get real-time video feed of the latest traffic situation on the road.
"With the fast changing technology nowadays, Traffic Mirror is MMDA's latest offering to every motorist and commuter who wants to plan their trip ahead and avoid the inconvenience brought about by heavy traffic," MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino.
The MMDA Traffic Mirror can be accessed at http://MMDA.NowPlanet.TV for free 24/7, and can be viewed from any PC, smartphone, or tablet device.
The website provides real-time video feed from nine closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed along Edsa, C-5 road, and Commonwealth Avenue.
"With the MMDA Traffic Mirror, motorists can see the actual traffic and flood situations in these three major roads, minus the cost that usually comes with these applications," Tolentino said.
Moreover, the MMDA Traffic Mirror can also be used in monitoring flooding during the rainy season, Tolentino added.
The MMDA Traffic Mirror was made at no cost to the government.
The project was conceptualized through a public private partnership with Information Capital Technology Ventures, Inc. (ICTV), a telecommunication and media technology firm based in Makati City.
The MMDA chief pointed out that Traffic Mirror is part of MMDA's thrust of using technology and communications to improve the motoring public's driving experience in Metro Manila.
Before the MMDA Traffic Mirror, the agency also introduced the Traffic Navigator, MMDA Twitter, and other traffic-related mobile applications.
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MAY 15, 2013
MMDA Starts Post-Election Cleanup
Two days after the elections, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will start a massive cleanup today to remove tons of garbage and campaign materials that littered Metro Manila during the election period.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino will personally lead the cleanup operations this morning, which will specifically target campaign materials such as posters and tarpaulins that were left in the streets and polling precincts by the candidates.
The post-election cleanup is also aimed at sprucing up schools, which were used as voting precincts, in time for the opening of classes next month.
"We don't know how long our cleanup will take so we're asking the local government units to give us a helping hand," Tolentino said.
At least 30 members of the MMDA's Metro Parkway Clearing Group (MPCG) will take part in the activity, supported by several heavy equipment of the agency such as dump trucks, manlifter, and a fire truck. The cleanup will start along F. B. Harrison in Pasay City.
Lamenting the practice of candidates to abandon their campaign trash after the elections, Tolentino said the MMDA had to spend extra funds just to clean their mess, which should have been the candidates' and political parties' responsibility.
"I should have proposed that for every poster a candidate puts up, he should remove two after the elections," the MMDA chief said.
During the 2010 elections, the MMDA collected 15 truckloads of waste, mostly composed of election garbage such as posters, tarpaulins, sample ballots, and food containers.
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MAY 9, 2013
MMDA to Implement Two-Way Traffic Scheme along Airport Road Starting Tomorrow
Anticipating heavy traffic with the impending construction of the EDSA-Taft flyover, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will implement a two-way traffic scheme along Airport Road in Pasay City starting tomorrow, May 10.
According to MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, the construction of the EDSA-Taft flyover in August would affect the cities of Parañaque and Pasay, and measures are now being undertaken by MMDA to decongest these areas even before the actual construction begins.
"Two lanes will be for vehicles going to Roxas Boulevard, while the other two lanes will be for vehicles going to Andrews Avenue," Tolentino said.
The new traffic scheme is the result of a consultation meeting under the Metro Traffic Watch program held last week with representatives from the MMDA Traffic Engineering Center (TEC), transport organizations from the area, and traffic bureau chiefs of Pasay and Parañaque.
MMDA TEC Director Neomie Recio said traffic signals are already in place to control the intersections in affected roads. "Appropriate signages were also put up since last week to inform the public of the new traffic scheme."
"I am urging the concerned local government units, particularly the barangay officials, to remove all illegally-parked vehicles and other forms of obstruction along Airport Road to facilitate a smooth flow of vehicular traffic," Tolentino said.
Further, Tolentino said an assessment will immediately follow the implementation of the new traffic scheme along Airport Road to evaluate whether it has improved the traffic situation in the area.
The EDSA-Taft flyover will start in front of the Heritage Hotel and end near the Malibay Bridge. Its construction is expected to be completed in 15 months.
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MAY 9, 2013
MMDA Shocked Over TRO on Liquor Ban
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino today expressed his sadness over the decision of the Supreme Court to shelve the five-day liquor ban that was supposed to be enforced by the Commission on Elections.
While the agency respects the SC's ruling, Tolentino said the MMDA will continue to advocate for a liquor-free election campaign period to reduce the number of road accidents and election violence caused by alcohol intoxication.
"We are saddened by the issuance of the temporary restraining order against the liquor ban. But we will comply with the TRO issued by the High Tribunal," Tolentino said.
He stressed that the MMDA will no longer file a motion for reconsideration due to lack of time; the 2013 midterm election is set on Monday, May 13.
Even as the liquor ban will only be implemented on May 12 and 13, Tolentino said he leaves it to the voters and the candidates to discipline themselves and avoid liquor during the election period in order to intelligently discuss election issues.
Tolentino clarified that he suggested an extended liquor ban to the Comelec not to disrupt the business operations of liquor manufacturers and dealers but to protect public health, which is one of the mandates of MMDA.
"We do not mean to kill the liquor and wine industry. Our only and main purpose is to reduce the number of road accidents and violence caused by alcohol intoxication," he said.
Citing the 2013 Global Status Report on Road Safety of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tolentino said 1.24 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes, with driving under the influence of liquor (DUI) tagged as one of the leading causes.
In the United States, he said 30 people die every day in vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver, which amounts to one death for every 48 minutes.
"Young adults between 15 and 44 account for 59 percent of global traffic deaths," Tolentino said, adding that only 89 countries covering 66 percent of the world's population (4.55 billion people), have a comprehensive drink-driving law enforcing the WHO-recommended blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.05 g/dl or less.
The MMDA chief said the liquor ban will also address the vote-buying practices in some far-flung provinces, where candidates pay voters bottles of alcoholic drinks, including cash.
As for health concerns, Tolentino said harmful and excessive use of alcohol results in 2.5 million deaths each year, making it the world's third largest risk factor for premature mortality, disability and loss of health.
"Alcohol is associated with many serious social and developmental issues, including violence, child neglect and abuse. It also causes harm far beyond the physical and psychological health of the drinker. It harms the well-being and health of people around the drinker," he pointed out, citing studies from WHO.
Long-term effects of alcohol consumption range from chronic pancreatitis, liver disease, and cancer, in addition to damages to central nervous system, Tolentino added.
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APRIL 27, 2013
MMDA Chairman Signs Circular Requiring Visible Safety Signs on Cement Trucks and Mixers
In an effort to curb a recent spate of accidents involving cement mixers, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino today signed a memorandum circular requiring owners, operators, and drivers of cement trucks or cement mixers to put visible signs indicating "Loaded With Cement – Keep Distance" on their vehicles.
According to Tolentino, these signs would alert the motorists to keep a safe distance away from the cement trucks / mixers to avoid accidents on the road.
"Cement trucks create serious risks for motorists and pedestrians, far more severe than the other smaller vehicles on the road," Tolentino said.
The permanent visible sign indicating "Loaded With Cement – Keep Distance" should not be less than 30 centimeters in height and must be prominent at the back and both sides of the truck.
Violators of the said regulation shall be fined five hundred pesos, without prejudice to the imposition of other penalties for other traffic violations.
The MMDA recorded at least 1,512 vehicular accidents involving heavy equipment for the first quarter of 2013 which injured 268 persons and killed 12, seven of which were pedestrians.
"Cement truck drivers are usually in a hurry to reach the construction sites when they are carrying wet cement, and this raises the risks they pose on other road users," Tolentino said.
Recently, MMDA proposed the reclassification of cement mixers from ordinary trucks to dangerous vehicles, following the death of Marie Cherrie Inzon, who was pinned by a cement mixer at the corner of Araneta and Del Monte avenues early this week.
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APRIL 25, 2013
MMDA Proposes Reclassification of Cement Mixer Trucks
Following the death of a 21-year-old student who was pinned by a wayward cement mixer last Tuesday, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is now proposing the reclassification of concrete mixing transport trucks from ordinary truck to "dangerous" vehicle.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said this will ensure that safety precautions are observed whenever the cement mixer trucks are in transit in busy major thoroughfares, where they are vulnerable to accidents.
Under the international motor vehicle classification, concrete mixers are classified as ordinary Class 8 heavy duty trucks or those with gross vehicle weight rating of 14,969 kilograms or more. These also include all types of trailer trucks.
"Drivers of cement mixers have limited line of vision because of the huge drum at the rear. They cannot see through their back. Their rearview mirrors are useless," Tolentino said.
The MMDA chief said cement mixers should be classified as dangerous or hazardous-type vehicles such as fuel tankers. Vehicles classified under this type have safety features such as prominent signs and lightings.
"If you're driving a dangerous vehicle, other vehicles must stay away at least 50 feet and you should not go nearer than 50 feet to the vehicle you're trailing," Tolentino said.
Tolentino pointed out that a truck driver must also possess a special driver's license demonstrating that the driver has sufficient training in the operation and general safety of the vehicle.
Based on MMDA data, Tolentino said at least one vehicular accident involving cement mixers takes place in Metro Manila every week.
"Cement mixer drivers are usually in a hurry to catch up with their delivery schedule. This is the number one cause of accident," he said while noting the current construction boom in the country.
Ready-mix concrete trucks, for example, have 90 minutes to deliver their load to the construction site before the concrete mix sets in, according to Tolentino.
To prevent such accident, Tolentino advised all truck drivers to comply with the speed limit being imposed by the MMDA. In United Kingdom, he said trucks have a speed limit of 90 kph.
The MMDA's proposal came in the wake of the death of 21-year-old Marie Cherrie Inzon, who was pinned by a cement mixer that fell on its side and crashed on a passenger jeepney at the corner of Araneta and Del Monte avenues on Tuesday.
The truck driver told police that the brakes of his cement mixer failed. Eight others were injured in the accident.
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APRIL 17, 2013
35 MMDA Workers Awarded with "Marangal" Badges
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Monday bestowed honors on 35 members of the Metro Parkway Clearing Group (MPCG) who were injured in the line of duty.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino personally pinned "Marangal" patches to the MPCG personnel, mostly street sweepers assigned in major thoroughfares throughout Metro Manila.
"In the face of injury and death, these MPCG workers did their duty wholeheartedly and with selfless dedication, consistent with the MMDA's thrust of providing prompt and quality service to the public," Tolentino said during the awarding rites held after the Monday flag-raising ceremonies.
All 35 MPCG personnel, 13 of whom were women, were present in the awarding ceremonies, several of whom were still on crutches while others have just been released from hospital and recuperating from their injuries.
The awardees were those who met accidents while on duty from January 2011 to March 2013, according to Director Lydia Domingo of the Administrative Service.
Of the 35 awardees, 22 were sideswiped by private cars and taxicabs, eight were hit by motorcycles, while one was bumped by a passenger jeepney. Two others were injured by uprooted trees while one contracted leptospirosis after engaging in various cleanup operations.
Past midnight Tuesday, another MPCG personnel was injured when he was hit by a dump truck along New York Street in Cubao, Quezon City. The victim, Felipe Bernardo, was watering plants at the center island when he was hit. He is presently confined at East Avenue Medical Center.
While crediting the 35 MPCG personnel for exemplary performance of their duties, Tolentino cautioned them to take extra care while on duty as the agency does not want to lose dedicated men and women.
"We can never replace employees who put their heart on their work, who are ready to sacrifice their lives and safety for the agency they are working for. The MMDA will always be thankful to you," Tolentino told the 35 awardees.
The "Marangal" badge is part of the MMDA's merit award system that fetes employees who have shown dedication and exemplary performance.
Representing the acronym "MMDA", the "Marangal" (noble) patch is given to employees who performed their duties in the face of danger, "Matapat" (honest) to those who return lost wallets or material possessions, and "Disiplinado" (disciplined) to those who perform their jobs well and display courtesy in public.
Employees who complete the three patches are awarded with P50,000 cash incentive.
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APRIL 12, 2013
MMDA Chairman Accepts Apology of Chinese Ambassador
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino today accepted the apology of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China for the involvement of one of its diplomats in a traffic altercation that happened last April 5 along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City.
In a letter dated April 9, Chinese Ambassador Extraordinary Ma Keqing expressed her apology for the unfortunate incident concerning diplomat Mr. Wang Ben.
"I welcome this respectable act by the Honorable Ambassador Ma Keqing, and I thank her for not tolerating the misconduct committed by an Embassy official," Tolentino said.
On the night of April 5, Wang Ben, First Secretary of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, bumped the rear of Tolentino's car along Roxas Boulevard then tried to escape by speeding towards Taft Avenue.
The MMDA chief himself chased the vehicle. The diplomat even evaded a dragnet by traffic enforcers assigned near the Light Rail Transit station along Buendia Avenue.
Mr. Wang Ben, who showed a photocopy of his identification card, hit Tolentino's vehicle apparently because of irritation caused by the slow-moving traffic.
Ambassador Keqing said all the staff of the Chinese Embassy have been reminded to strictly observe traffic rules and exercise extreme precautions on the road.
"The gesture of the Honorable Ambassador is highly appreciated. I just hope that incidents like that won't happen again, even as we adhere to the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations. Let's just forgive and forget," Tolentino stressed.
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APRIL 12, 2013
MMDA Lauds Comelec for Disallowing Campaign Motorcades along Major Roads
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino lauded the Commission on Elections (Comelec) today for approving the agency's proposal to ban the holding of campaign motorcades and rallies along major roads.
Tolentino particularly conveyed his gratitude to Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes for promptly acting on the MMDA's proposal, whose main objective is to prevent unnecessary traffic jams caused by slow-moving campaign motorcades or caravans.
"Chairman Brillantes and the Comelec commissioners readily welcomed, studied, and approved our request to ban campaign motorcades along major thoroughfares, recognizing that these election-related activities cause inconvenience to the public," Tolentino said.
With the implementation of the new traffic scheme, Tolentino reiterated that this will help the MMDA in effectively managing traffic flow during the campaign period.
The Comelec en banc has passed Resolution No. 9666 disallowing campaign motorcades along 22 major roads in Metro Manila.
These include EDSA, C-5, Quezon Avenue, Marcos Highway, Commonwealth Avenue, España, E. Rodriguez, Ramon Magsaysay, Quirino Avenue, Aurora Boulevard, Ortigas Avenue, Shaw Boulevard, MIA Road, Domestic Road, Andrews Avenue, South Superhighway, Taft Avenue, Roxas Boulevard, Araneta Avenue, A.H. Lacson, Rizal Avenue and A. Bonifacio Avenue.
The resolution formally deputized the MMDA to assist Comelec in enforcing the motorcade ban. It also directed the MMDA to coordinate with the election officer of the city/municipality concerned and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
On the other hand, candidates and political parties who intend to conduct election campaigns and rallies on secondary roads should seek a permit from the local government units concerned and notify the MMDA three days before the event.
Brillantes said a convoy consisting of only three or more vehicles, moving in slow speed to attract the attention of the public, brings about traffic problems, especially when the motorcade is held along a major road such as Edsa.
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APRIL 8, 2013
MMDA Grants "Heat Stroke Break" To Traffic Constables, Street Sweepers
To protect the health of its outdoor workers this summer, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is now implementing a daily one-hour "heat stroke break" for on-duty traffic constables and street sweepers.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the heat stroke break is from 1:30 pm to 2 pm and 2:30 pm to 3 pm, which health agencies and weather experts said is the hottest part of the day this season.
"This is the least we can do to prevent heat illnesses from inflicting our employees who work in the streets. We cannot risk the health and lives of our personnel. Their safety is our paramount concern," Tolentino said.
The special break is available for traffic constables and street sweepers who are on duty at daytime. Under the policy, they are allowed to rest and take a break from 1:30 pm to 2pm and 2:30 pm to 3 pm.
The heat stroke break will be implemented through rotation so a skeletal force of one to two personnel will remain at their posts at any given time.
Moreover, Tolentino ordered the transfer to night shift duty of outdoor employees who are not in perfect physical condition and those who have records of past illnesses.
The MMDA will be giving out special allowances and free bottled water to those in afternoon shift. The heat stroke break will be in effect until May 31.
"We should try to understand the plight of these traffic constables and street sweepers who brave the heat everyday to fulfill their duties," the MMDA chief said.
Tolentino added he is hoping that local government units in Metro Manila will follow suit and give their traffic enforcers such privilege, at least during this summer.
In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Ministry of Labour is requiring companies to provide midday break from 12:30 pm to 3 pm to laborers who work in open areas during summer, according to Tolentino.
The US Army and Marine Corps warn of heat exhaustion and heat stroke that put officers at risk of degraded performance. To address this, they enforce mandatory drinking schedules for their troops on location. Officers are advised to take frequent drinks since rather than drinking the same amount of water all at once regularly stop work, get into shade and rehydrate. These breaks range from 20 to 40 minutes.
Early this year, six South African traffic enforcers died in KwaZulu-Natal Traffic Department, South Africa due to dehydration and consequent heat stroke. In South Africa, summer temperatures are above 30 degrees Celsius, similar to the temperature in Metro Manila.
Last year, an MMDA traffic constable died on duty due to heat stroke.
The Department of Health (DoH) has earlier raised a warning to the public, especially senior citizens, against possible heat stroke brought about by the summer season's searing heat.
Those who are most susceptible to heat stroke are infants, elderly, athletes, and individuals who work outside and physically exert themselves under the sun, DOH said.
State weather forecasters recorded the hottest day this year on April 3, Wednesday, when temperature reached 35.2 degrees Celsius.
Citing a study from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the US government, Tolentino said workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress.
"Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes," the MMDA chief pointed out, adding that employers should also provide training to workers so they understand what heat stress is.
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APRIL 5, 2013
Brand New Vehicles Covered by Number Coding
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) today reminded motorists that it has expanded the coverage of the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or the number coding scheme to include brand new vehicles without license plates but with conduction stickers.
Chairman Francis Tolentino signed Memorandum Circular Number 06 Series of 2013 which contains the guidelines in the implementation of the UVVRP for new vehicles without license plates. The Circular will be effective 15 days after its publication.
"In view of the temporary unavailability of license plates from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and for the purpose of the implementation of the UVVRP, the last numerical digit of the conduction stickers shall determine the day the vehicle is covered by the number coding," Tolentino said.
In accordance with the Circular, dealers and owners of brand new vehicles must not detach the conduction sticker from the vehicle. They are likewise required to prominently display the conduction sticker numbers on the spaces allotted for regular license plates in front and at the rear of the vehicle for the efficient implementation of the UVVRP. This shall be immediately replaced with the regular LTO plates once issued.
"This improvisation is only for the purpose of UVVRP implementation. The regulation shall not supplant any law, rules and regulations concerning vehicle registration. Upon the installation of LTO-issued license plates, the vehicle shall be covered by the UVVRP using the last numerical digit of the license plate as basis," Tolentino pointed out.
A fine of three hundred pesos shall be imposed on violators.
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APRIL 5, 2013
Traffic-Causing Campaign Motorcades Should Be An Election Offense, MMDA Urges Comelec
Following its call to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to regulate campaign motorcades this election season, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) again urged the poll body today to consider filing election offenses against erring candidates who would cause unnecessary traffic jams in any of their street campaign activities.
"This will not be a mere traffic violation but an election offense. We should make them realize the effect to the traffic flow of holding motorcades in major roads, especially when these are not coordinated to the proper agencies," MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said.
Underscoring the gravity of the traffic problems caused by campaign motorcades, Tolentino said Comelec should treat this act as a serious election offense, punishable, in most serious cases, by disqualification.
"We should draft and implement strict guidelines in the holding of such activity, and any form of violation should be taken seriously, regardless of political affiliations. The candidates' right to campaign is not absolute," the MMDA chief said.
Tolentino met with Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes last Wednesday to convey the MMDA's desire to be deputized to assist the poll body in regulating the use of major thoroughfares in Metro Manila for campaign motorcades and caravans.
In its petition filed before the Comelec, MMDA pointed out that several election campaigns, caravans, rallies and other similar election-related activities are being carried out in major thoroughfares in Metro Manila greatly affect the "already congested flow of traffic along major thoroughfares."
"To mitigate the effects of traffic congestion brought by election-related activities, there is a necessity to regulate the conduct of election-related activities, particularly motorcades and caravans along major thoroughfares of Metro Manila," the MMDA said.
The major roads identified by the MMDA are Edsa, C-5, Quezon Avenue, Marcos Highway, Commonwealth Avenue, Espana Boulevard, E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Ramon Magsaysay Avenue, President Quirino Avenue, Aurora Boulevard, Ortigas Avenue, Shaw Boulevard, MIA Road, Domestic Road, Roxas Boulevard, Araneta Avenue, AH. Lacson Street, Rizal Avenue and A. Bonifacio Avenue.
Tolentino clarified that the MMDA only wants to regulate the time and duration of a campaign motorcade so the agency would be able to come up with the necessary preparations to avert any potential traffic problem.
"All we're concerned of is the holding of these campaign caravans in major roads. It is not our intention to control the candidates' campaign, particularly on where to set up the stage for proclamation rallies and other campaign-related activities," the MMDA chief added.
Just like common poster areas, Tolentino said the Comelec should also set up common rally areas so it would not hamper the free flow of traffic.
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APRIL 3, 2013
Another Fake Traffic Enforcer Arrested along Roxas Boulevard
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) today apprehended another individual misrepresenting himself as an active traffic enforcer along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
Marcelino Trias, 51 years old, allegedly flagged down a Land Cruiser traversing the westbound lane of Roxas Boulevard corner Kalaw Street this morning for no apparent violation.
Traffic constables Jason Edroso and Efren Ruzon, JR., members of the MMDA E-wheels patrol assigned at the area, spotted and approached Trias, who immediately run away.
After a long chase and with the help of personnel from the MMDA Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group who were passing by the area at the time of the incident, Trias was arrested and was brought to the MMDA office for questioning.
Trias was caught wearing an old MMDA enforcer uniform Type A. He also had with him fake traffic violation receipts and several drivers' licenses which will be used as evidence.
"What he did was illegal. It is unfair to the honest and dedicated enforcers, because his misrepresentation is tainting the very reputation of the entire agency," Chairman Francis Tolentino said.
Since December last year, the agency had received numerous complaints on an unidentified traffic enforcer allegedly extorting money from motorists along Roxas Boulevard.
Meanwhile, the Pasay City Prosecutor's Office recently issued a resolution recommending the filing of Usurpation of Authority charge against Edwin Vicentino.
Vicentino was arrested last November for misrepresenting himself as an active MMDA traffic enforcer, flagging down no less than Chairman Tolentino, along Buendia Avenue and Roxas Boulevard.
"We will continue to go after individuals who maliciously present themselves as employees of MMDA. I ask the public to help us police our ranks by reporting suspicious acts or arrogant behavior by any of our personnel," Tolentino said.
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MARCH 22, 2013
MMDA Launches Person With Disabilities-Friendly Pedestrian Crossing
In line with the observance of the Women with Disabilities Day on Monday (March 25), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) today launched a person with disabilities (PWD)-friendly pedestrian crossing along Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City.
The PWD pedestrian crossing, installed at the corner of Aurora Boulevard and Imperial Street, right in front of Isetann Mall, is equipped with a traffic signal system integrated with a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera directly connected to the MMDA Metrobase office.
"A Metrobase staff will be monitoring the pedestrian crossing 24/7, and will be in charge of giving out verbal instructions once the traffic lights change," Chairman Francis Tolentino said.
According to Tolentino, similar PWD-accessible pedestrian crossings will be put up at the corner of Aurora Boulevard corner JP Rizal Street in Project 4, Quezon City and at Santolan Road corner Marcos Highway in Pasig City. Quezon City and Pasig City are two of the cities in Metro Manila that have the most number of PWDs.
The celebration of Women with Disabilities Day every last Monday of March is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation Number 744.
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MARCH 21, 2013
MMDA to Activate Metro Alalay Semana Santa Tomorrow
Starting tomorrow, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will deploy more than 1,800 personnel, in coordination with the Philippine National Police - National Capital Region Police Office and various local government units traffic bureaus, to man the major thoroughfares and entry and exit points as part of its Metro Alalay Semana Santa 2013.
Chairman Francis Tolentino said majority of the traffic personnel will be assigned to roads leading to provincial bus terminals and other vital installations such as the airports, seaports, and pilgrimage sites to ensure the safety of thousands of commuters expected to travel to the suburbs and provinces to take advantage of the long holiday.
Focus of the operations will also be on crucial areas and perennial traffic choke points such as Balintawak, McArthur Highway, Ortigas Avenue Extension, Sumulong Highway, Marcos Highway, Roxas Boulevard, Alabang, Pasay, and Cubao.
Likewise, the agency will also assign traffic constables along roads leading to famous pilgrimage sites such as Antipolo and Grotto at San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan, and on frequently-visited churches like Sto. Domingo (Quezon City), Baclaran, San Agustin (Intramuros), and San Sebastian (Manila).
"These contingency measures are aimed to ensure a peaceful, orderly, and meaningful celebration of Lent. We want to reduce the inconvenience experienced by the travelling public as much as possible," Tolentino said.
MMDA has declared a no day-off and no absent policy for all traffic personnel, particularly on March 27, 28, 31 and April 1, when traffic is expected to be congested.
Tolentino, during a consultation meeting this morning attended by representatives from the Department of Public Works and Highways, Bureau of Fire Protection, North Luzon Expressway, South Luzon Expressway / Skyway, and provincial bus operators, also announced the suspension of the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or the number coding scheme starting March 27 (Holy Wednesday) until April 1 (Monday).
The MMDA Roadside Emergency Group will likewise be on standby to provide roadside emergency service and assistance to the public.
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MARCH 13, 2013
MMDA Welcomes Comelec's 5-Day Liquor Ban Extension
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino welcomed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision to extend the nationwide liquor ban for the coming elections from two to five days.
The liquor ban will now commence on May 9 instead of May 12, and end on May 13, according to a Comelec en banc decision today.
"We at the MMDA would like to thank the Comelec for taking into consideration our proposal and for seeing its merits," Tolentino said.
Earlier this year, MMDA filed a petition before the Comelec asking the elections body to enforce a liquor ban simultaneously with the election gun ban that started last January 13, not only to reduce road accidents caused by drunk driving due to the proliferation of free alcoholic beverages during the election campaign period, but to reduce election-related violence as well.
"Though not approved as petitioned originally, the extension of the liquor ban is a good step to help reduce road accidents, electoral violence, and will lead to a more sober and meaningful discussion of electoral issues," the MMDA chief said.
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MARCH 13, 2013
MMDA to Hire 300 Summer Interns
Students aged 17 to 25 may now apply for summer jobs at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino announced today.
Tolentino said the agency is now accepting applications for the Special Program for the Education of Students (SPES), which is aimed at giving poor but deserving students and out-of-school youths a learning experience in government service.
"SPES is an opportunity for our youths to learn what it is like working in public service and at the same time provide them with financial means to continue their education," Tolentino said.
SPES, which is now on its second year at the MMDA, is mandated under Republic Act 9547 whose objective is to develop the intellectual capacities of children of poor families and harness their potentials.
The program is being administered by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Lydia Domingo, Director of MMDA's Administrative Service said applications will be accepted until March 22. The first day of the annual summer job begins on April 1 and will run for one month.
There are a total of 300 slots open, which include public services assistants, computer operators, communication equipment operator assistants, accounting clerks, and records clerk, among others, according to Domingo.
Applicants should be between 17 to 25 years old, whose parents should have an annual income of below P128,000.
If the applicant is a high school graduate, he or she should present a photocopy of his or her Form 138 with at least 75 percent passing grade. Applicants in the college level should present class cards.
Applicants should also submit a copy of his or her birth certificate, a copy of latest Income Tax Return (ITR) of parents and for out-of-school youth, a certificate of good moral character from the barangay chairperson of his or her place of residence.
"If the parents of the applicant are informal workers such as carpenter, plumber, or vendor, a certificate from the barangay is needed," Domingo said.
Last year, the MMDA hired 200 summer interns.
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FEBRUARY 26, 2013
MMDA Expands Coverage of 60-kph Speed Limit on Commonwealth Avenue
Starting today, February 26, the 60 kilometer-per-hour speed limit on Commonwealth Avenue will be enforced from Philcoa to Doña Carmen Avenue in Quezon City.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino said they have decided to expand the coverage of the speed limit on Commonwealth Avenue to step up its campaign against speedsters and to prevent road accidents.
At present, the existing speed limit on the so-called "killer highway" only covers the area between Philcoa and Sandiganbayan / Batasan. Batasan to Doña Carmen Avenue is about 2.3 kilometers long.
Tolentino said the extended coverage of the traffic scheme is aimed at further improving traffic along the 12.4-kilometer highway and preventing road accidents.
Also, the MMDA chief said they have been receiving reports that drag racers still use Commonwealth Avenue for their illegal racing, especially at nighttime.
"We have procured additional speed guns to aid our traffic constables in going after the speedsters," Tolentino said, adding that plans are also being studied to install more closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) along the highway.
"There are portions on Commonwealth Avenue that are 18 lanes wide so motorists tend to speed up," Tolentino added.
Tolentino introduced the speed limit scheme in Commonwealth Avenue in 2011 following the spate of fatal road accidents in the area. It was also later adopted on Diosdado Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City.
As of February 21, the MMDA has apprehended a total of 23,798 speedsters along Commonwealth.
Commonwealth Avenue is the widest highway in the country, which spans from six to 18 lanes in both directions.
Constructed in the late ‘60's, Commonwealth Avenue starts from the Quezon Memorial Circle inside the Elliptical Road, passes through the areas of Philcoa, Tandang Sora, Balara, Batasan Hills and ends at Quirino Highway in the Novaliches area.
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 3,500 people die on the world's roads every day. Tens of millions of people are injured or disabled every year.
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FEBRUARY 23, 2013
MMDA Announces Schedule of Road Closures for EDSA Anniversary
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) today announced the closure of several portions of EDSA today until Monday (February 25) in line with the celebration of the 27th anniversary of the People Power Revolution.
At 9:00 p.m. tonight, White Plains Drive from Temple Drive to EDSA (westbound) shall be closed for the setting up of the event stage. In effect, counter-flow shall be implemented at the eastbound lanes.
Motorists are advised to avoid the affected areas and instead use alternate routes, Chairman Francis Tolentino said.
Tomorrow, the following traffic schemes shall be in effect:
- Both directions of White Plains Drive will be closed at 2:00 a.m. for the "Run for Juan"
- At 5:00 a.m., EDSA northbound bus lanes and third lane from Julia Vargas to Guadix Road and all three lanes of the EDSA Ortigas flyover (northbound) will be partially closed. The flyover will remain open for motorists turning left to Ortigas Greenhills. Likewise, the EDSA northbound service road, from Guadix to EDSA Shrine will remain open.
- Full closure of EDSA northbound from Ortigas Avenue to Santolan will also be in effect starting at 5:00 in the morning. Motorists may turn right to Julia Vargas to destination or pass through EDSA flyover then left to Ortigas Greenhills to destination.
- By 7:00 a.m., the entire stretch of EDSA will be opened. White Plains Drive, however, will be opened at 8:00 a.m.
- At 9:00 p.m., two lanes of EDSA northbound from the People Power Monument to Gate 3 of Camp Aguinaldo will be used for the rehearsals.
"The road closures are necessary to ensure the safe and orderly celebration of the People Power anniversary. Alternate routes may be used by motorists for their convenience," Tolentino said.
On Monday, February 25, the following scheduled road closures will be observed:
- 12:01 a.m. - Lanes 3-5 of EDSA will be partially closed (inner lanes from Corinthians to Aguinaldo Gate 3). Platform construction will be undertaken by DPWH. One lane of both directions of White Plains Drive will be passable.
- 1:00 a.m. - Total closure of White Plains from Temple Drive to EDSA
- 2:00 a.m. - Total closure of White Plains from EDSA to Temple Drive
- 5:00 a.m. - Total closure of EDSA northbound from Ortigas flyover approach to Santolan. Likewise, EDSA northbound service road from Guadix Drive to EDSA Shrine will be totally closed.
- 11:00 a.m. - entire stretch of EDSA will be opened to traffic.
Meanwhile, Tolentino clarified that the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or the number coding scheme will be enforced on Monday.
"February 25 is declared as a special holiday only for all schools nationwide. Therefore, the number coding is not lifted," Tolentino pointed out.
Vehicles with license plates ending in 1 and 2 are not allowed to use major roads from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
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FEBRUARY 19, 2013
MMDA Unveils Earthquake House
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has procured its own earthquake simulator to help train its rescue personnel and educate the public, especially students, about earthquake and its effects.
Aptly named "Shake, Rattle, and Learn House", the facility will be formally opened to the public tomorrow, February 20, by MMDA officials led by MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino.
Tolentino said the hydraulically operated facility, which resembles a bungalow complete with a living room, furniture set, and a classroom setting, simulates seismic movement equivalent to a magnitude ranging from 4.0 to 8.0.
"To better understand earthquake and be prepared for it, we have to experience what it feels like to be in one. This will help raise the public's awareness and knowledge about the earthquake phenomenon," Tolentino said.
The quake simulator is similar to the one being used by experts from Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS). It has a size of 3 x 3.6 meters and can seat up to 10 people.
The "Shake, Rattle, and Learn House" is open for use by visiting students and schoolchildren during educational tours at the MMDA and local government units, according to Tolentino.
"Earthquake simulation also teaches safe personal behavior and practice in case of an earthquake. This is a learning tool against the perils of earthquakes by providing a scenario to practice protective procedures," the MMDA chief said.
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FEBRUARY 18, 2013
MMDA Forms Six Football Teams
Move over Philippine Azkals, the six football teams of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) are here.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino has recruited and trained six football squads composed of agency's employees that would soon compete in local amateur football tournaments.
Tolentino said he introduced the sports to the employees to inculcate to them the value of physical fitness and discipline.
"If other organizations have their own football teams, why can't we have our own team? Besides, sports such as football develop one's discipline. And with disciplined employees, we can have a better agency and better services to the public," the MMDA chief said.
Members of the six football teams, who were picked from various MMDA units, underwent two-week training from coaches from different universities such as Ateneo de Manila and Perpetual Help College, among others.
The MMDA footballs teams are the "Roadikalz", composed of employees and traffic constables from the Traffic Discipline Office (TDO); the "Medikalz" of the Road Emergency Group (REG); the Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group's (SCOG) "Bungkalz"; "Decloggers from Flood Control; "Musikalz" from the MMDA Drum and Bugle Corps; and "Trapalz" from the Baklas Billboard.
Tolentino said each 20-member team underwent training in the rudiments of the sports as well as physical fitness programs. The agency also shouldered the expenses in the players' uniforms.
The six teams will compete with each other in a football league to be held at the Philippine Marine grounds in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City starting tomorrow, February 19.
"Sports are excellent way to enhance self-discipline. They train you to set goals, focus your mental and emotional energies, become physically fit, and to get along with others," Tolentino said in creating the MMDA football teams.
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JANUARY 30, 2013
MMDA Implements Enhanced Bus Dispatch System
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will start the implementation tomorrow, January 31, of the Bus Management and Dispatch System (BMDS), an enhanced bus dispatch system that does not only regulate the number of public utility buses (PUBs) in Edsa but also monitors the drivers manning them.
The BMDS is the first bus reduction program in the country that utilizes biometrics or finger-scanning to identify and monitor PUB drivers, ensuring the safety of commuters that patronize PUBs, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said.
The program will be pilot-tested at the bus dispatch terminal of the MMDA at Fairview, Quezon City. Twelve more satellite stations will be established all over Metro Manila later this year.
"Our aim is to instill discipline among PUB drivers and make them aware that we at the MMDA, together with other agencies, are capable of monitoring them, especially their driving behavior," Tolentino said, noting the spate of fatal road accidents last year involving PUBs.
BMDS is a much improved system similar to the Organized Bus Route where PUBs are dispatched from four MMDA terminals, partnered with the private sector, based on passenger demand and current traffic situation in a given day.
But under BMDS, PUB drivers are now required to finger-scan at the dispatch terminals before being allowed to ply their routes. The MMDA has created a PUB Driver's Databank which contained the personal information of each registered driver, the bus company where he is employed, and even the number of his unsettled traffic violations.
A total of 3,471 city buses operated by 105 firms have registered in the database, which is also linked with other agencies such as LTO, LTFRB, and National Bureau of Investigation.
Tolentino said only drivers with less than three pending traffic violations will be dispatched from the terminal; those with more than three should settle their traffic violation tickets first before being allowed to ply their routes.
At each BMDS terminal, PUBs will be fielded every 10 minutes during peak hours and 15 minutes during non-peak hours. The system is expected to cut the excess number of city buses in operation and rid Metro Manila of colorum buses.
At present, MMDA has four major dispatch terminals - South Station in Alabang and Coastal Mall in Paranaque in the South and Malabon and Robinson's Fairview in the North.
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JANUARY 25, 2013
Two Lanes of Quezon Avenue Closed to Traffic Tomorrow
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) today announced the temporary closure of two lanes of Quezon Avenue (westbound) from 12 midnight of January 26 to 2 pm of January 27 for the launching of TV 5’s new show "Wowowillie".
MMDA Assistant General Manager for Operations Emerson Carlos advised motorists to use alternate routes as traffic is expected to be heavy along Quezon Avenue going to West Avenue, particularly in front of Delta Theater.
Examiner Street along Quezon Avenue leading to West Avenue can be used as alternate route from 6 am to 2 pm.
"We will deploy more than 200 personnel to supervise traffic and crowd control in the area, together with the Quezon City Police and D.P.O.S.," Carlos said.
The temporary closure of the two outermost lanes of Quezon Avenue beside Delta Theater was requested by the show’s organizers as it will be utilized for their bikers and skateboarders for their inaugural show. Bike ramps will be installed for the bike stunts, for safety purposes.
"We will be providing the public with traffic advisories in the area through our LED billboards, Twitter and Facebook accounts," Carlos said, as he advised non-participants to avoid the Delta Theater area tomorrow.
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JANUARY 24, 2013
MMDA Rescues 45 "Hamog Boys" in Pasay
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has rescued a total of 45 street dwellers and vagrants at NAIA Road in Pasay City in a massive reach-out operation conducted at the airport area on Tuesday.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the 45 street dwellers have been turned over to the Jose Fabella Center in Mandaluyong City, a halfway house for homeless people run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
"We do not want them roaming the streets and pose danger to themselves and motorists passing the area. It is for their own safety that they be brought to a safe place where they will be taken care of," Tolentino said.
In a report he submitted to the Office of the Chairman, Rolando Macalinao, officer-in-charge of the Metropolitan Social Services Office (MMSO), said that of the 45 rescued vagrants, six were minors, the youngest of whom were aged 3 and 5. The oldest was 50 years old.
Macalinao said the so-called "Batang Hamog" have been pestering motorists and pedestrians, while some resort to robbery and pick - pocketing to earn money.
While at the Jose Fabella Center, the rescued street dwellers are given temporary shelters and medical assistance. Many of them are brought back to their hometowns in the provinces.
The Jose Fabella Center regularly accepts street dwellers, vagrants, and mendicants turned over by the MMDA and other government agencies.
In September last year, MMDA donated 300 capsule beds to the DSWD-run center to help accommodate more street dwellers.
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JANUARY 22, 2013
MMDA Dismayed Over Carabuena Case Dismissal
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino expressed his dismay yesterday over the Land Transportation Office's (LTO) denial of the agency's request for the revocation of Robert Blair Carabuena's driver's license.
MMDA lodged a complaint against Carabuena for slapping and verbally assaulting MMDA traffic enforcer Saturnino Fabros last August 11, 2012 at the Tandang Sora - Capitol Hills intersection in Quezon City.
In a seven-page decision, LTO found that Carabuena was not in violation of Sec. 21 of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code and was only a "mere traffic violation which does not merit the harsh penalty of revocation", nor was he guilty of "operating or using a motor vehicle in, or as an accessory to, the commission of any crime or at which endangers the public". Instead, LTO recommended that Carabuena be charged with Disregarding Traffic Signs / Disregarding Traffic Officer.
"Mr. Carabuena's action was not only a crime, but a clear and blatant disregard for authority. People like him with that kind of temper and behavior should not be allowed to drive along our roads because he is a danger not only to our enforcers, but to other motorists as well. This is not simply disregarding a traffic officer," the Chairman said. "A mere issuance of warning is not enough for Mr. Carabuena and we still believe that his driver's license should be revoked," he added.
Tolentino said the agency will file a Motion for Reconsideration on the said case.
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JANUARY 17, 2013
MMDA Dismantles "Colorum" Bus Stops Along EDSA
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) today started demolishing "colorum" bus stops or illegally-installed waiting sheds along Edsa for getting in the way of the agency's bus segregation scheme, among other things.
Chairman Francis Tolentino said there are six illegally-built waiting sheds along Edsa; in Kaingin, Reliance, Ortigas - MRT Station, Shaw Blvd. - Starmall, Main Avenue, and Bansalangin.
"These structures have caused confusion among commuters and bus drivers, particularly with the implementation of the bus segregation scheme, as they have been mistaken as legitimate bus stops," Tolentino said.
First to be dismantled is the waiting shed at Edsa - Reliance (Southbound) near the Victor R. Potenciano Medical Center, followed by the one near Starmall, near the Edsa - Shaw Blvd. intersection (Southbound). The rest will all be demolished within the day.
The "colorum" bus stops were installed without clearance from MMDA.
Further, these bus stops were built during nighttime and hastily, obviously avoiding the attention of authorities, adding that the workers also used green paint, the color previously identified with MMDA.
"The MMDA now uses two colors for our bus stops, blue and red. So only those painted with these colors are the authorized loading and unloading bays for PUBs," Tolentino stressed.
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JANUARY 10, 2013
2012 Metro Manila Film Festival Earns Record-breaking P767.8 Million
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino today announced the record-breaking success of 2012's Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) which ended on Tuesday with an unofficial gross ticket sales of P767.8 million.
The ticket sales of the recent film festival, which ran from December 25 to January 8, is 21% higher compared to 2011's P636.7 million, according to Tolentino, concurrent head of the MMFF Executive Committee.
"The overwhelming support of the movie-going public proves that the films are all impressive," Tolentino said.
"Sisteraka" topped the box-office with a gross of P342 million, followed by "One More Try" which earned P170.5 million. "Si Agimat, Si Enteng, at Si Ako" (P133.5 million) and "Shake, Rattle, and Roll 14" (P45.3 million) also made it to the top 4. Completing the official lineup are "El Presidente", "The Strangers" , "Sosy Problems", and "Thy Womb".
While the 2012 MMFF hit the highest festival gross sales, "Sisteraka" also broke several records. It had the biggest opening day earnings for a local movie with P39 million and highest box-office sales for local film. It also ranked 4th in all-time Philippine total ticket sales for 2012, behind foreign movies "The Avengers" (1st), "Spiderman 3" (2nd), and "Transformers" (3rd).
Apart from the mainstream MMFF, the New Wave Section, which ran from December 18 to 24 in Glorietta Cinemas also did well. Five independent feature films were shown together with the 10 student short films.
"We are optimistic that we can duplicate the same feat for this year's MMFF, if not surpass it, with the participation of the movie producers who will showcase quality films and the support of the movie-going public," Tolentino said.
Proceeds from the MMFF go to a number of beneficiaries in the film industry such as the Mowelfund, Film Academy of the Philippines, Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council, Optical Media Board, and Film Development Council of the Philippines. A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to the victims of typhoon ‘Pablo' in Compostela Valley and Negros Oriental.
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JANUARY 8, 2013
MMDA Welcomes CA Ruling on LGUs' Traffic Ordinances; Says CA Did Not Nullify the Unified Ticketing System
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino today welcomed the Court of Appeals ruling upholding the legality of the traffic ordinances of the local government units but pointed out that it has no effect on the Uniform Ordinance Violation Receipt (UOVR) system presently being implemented in the 17 LGUs of Metro Manila.
"We welcome the CA ruling but the MMDA and the LGUs, with the support of transport groups, are already implementing UOVR since last year," Tolentino said.
In a 16-page decision issued on Monday, the appellate court's 6th Division upheld the legality of several traffic ordinances of Metro Manila LGUs, denying a petition by several transport groups to have it nullified. The case was filed in 2006, or six years prior to the implementation of the UOVR.
While the agency does not question the court's ruling, Tolentino pointed out that the UOVR scheme that has been in effect since March 1, 2012 is consistent with the public transport operators' clamor to have a single traffic ticket within Metro Manila. The UOVR scheme also did not nullify nor disregard any of the LGU traffic ordinances.
"UOVR is now being implemented. The CA ruling has no effect whatsoever on this single ticketing scheme that has been in place since last year," Tolentino said.
On January 26 last year, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) composed of the 17 mayors of Metro Manila, unanimously approved a resolution establishing a system of interconnectivity among the LGUs and government bodies involved in traffic management.
The MMC resolution paved the way for the implementation of UOVR scheme which was supported by all Metro Manila LGUs, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the transport groups. The uniform traffic ticket bears the MMDA logo and those of the 17 LGUs.
The MMDA and the Metro Manila LGUs are now working to harmonize all local traffic ordinances towards the adoption of a Uniform Metro Manila Traffic Code.
The uniform ticket is issued by all traffic operatives within Metro Manila and recognized metro-wide.
Under the single ticketing policy, MMDA, LGU and LTO traffic enforcers will honor and recognize the UOVRs issued by other LGUs, enabling apprehended motorists to use their tickets as temporary driver's license.
Motorists will have seven days to pay the fine imposed at any Metrobank branch. For LGU-issued UOVRs, violators will have five days to settle fines and redeem their license in the city where the apprehension took place.
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JANUARY 7, 2013
MMDA Extends the Implementation of the Modified Truck Ban Regulation
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) today announced the extension of the implementation of the modified uniform truck ban regulation in Metro Manila until July 6.
The Special Traffic Committee (STC) of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) issued Resolution Number 01 Series of 2013 approving the extension of the modified uniform truck ban for a period of six months, from January 7 to July 6, unless earlier lifted upon the adoption of comprehensive truck ban regulations by the MMC and all concerned local government units of Metro Manila.
Chairman Francis Tolentino hailed the STC, headed by Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, for this development. "This proves that the modified uniform truck ban was successful and improved the traffic situation in Metro Manila," Tolentino said.
Under the modified regulation, truck ban hours will be from 6 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 10 pm everyday except Sundays and holidays.
In Edsa, from Magallanes Interchange to North Avenue, a 24-hour total truck ban will be imposed throughout the week, from Monday to Sunday.
On December 3, the STC, through Resolution Number 01 Series of 2012, approved the implementation of the modified truck ban in Metro Manila from December 7 to January 6, 2013.
Cargo trucks and heavy vehicles having a gross capacity weight of more than 4,500 kilograms are covered by this resolution, while trucks carrying perishable goods such as agricultural products shall continue to be exempted from the new truck ban resolution.
"We are optimistic that before the extension period ends, the MMC would have already come up with permanent truck ban regulation in all affected streets and major thoroughfares in Metro Manila, to complement various traffic improvement schemes being undertaken by the agency," Tolentino said.
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JANUARY 5, 2013
MMDA to field 1,100 personnel to ensure orderly Black Nazarene procession
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is going all out to ensure a peaceful and orderly Black Nazarene procession in Manila on Wednesday, January 9.
Starting Monday, January 8, a total of 1,100 MMDA personnel will be fielded around Quiapo Church and along the procession routes to help in traffic management, public safety, and emergency response operations of the city government and other government agencies.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the agency will also be deploying ambulances and other road emergency vehicles, traffic mobile patrol cars, tugboats, AGILA surveillance and communications units, and all other necessary equipment and vehicles.
"We will not risk the safety of the public, not only the Black Nazarene devotees, but also the motorists and pedestrians. We will deploy everything we got to help in any way we can," the MMDA chief said.
Aside from the Traffic Discipline Office (TDO), other MMDA units to be put on alert and deployed in Manila include Task Force Kalasag, Road Emergency Group, Public Safety Division, Parking Discipline Group, and the agency's towing units. Several of the Mmda officials and personnel who will be deployed are also devotees of the Black Nazarene.
The Metro Parkway Clearing Group (MPCG), meanwhile, will conduct a massive cleanup after the procession, Tolentino added.
Tolentino said the agency will also put up several portalets along the procession route.
Expecting a huge crowd of devotees to join the procession, Tolentino advised the motoring public to avoid Manila as much as possible because several roads will have to be temporarily closed to traffic.
The procession will begin at the Quirino Grandstand at the Luneta, turn right at Katigbak Drive and pass through P. Burgos, turn left at Taft Ave. and cross McArthur Bridge, turn right at Palanca and pass under Quezon Bridge, turn left at Quezon Blvd., right at Fraternal, right at Vergara, left at Duque de Alba, left at Castillejos, left at Farnecio, right at Arlegui, left at Nepomuceno, left at Aguila, right at Carcer, right Hidalgo through Plaza Del Carmen, left Bilibid Viejo through Puyat, left Guzman, right at Hidalgo, left at Barbosa, right at Globo de Oro and under Quezon Bridge, right at Palanca, right at Villalobos and finally go through Plaza Miranda to Quiapo Church.
"We're also asking the devotees not to bring their children to the procession. Those who cannot avoid going to Manila should at least plan their trips and check the procession routes and alternate routes that we have uploaded in our website (mmda.gov.ph)," Tolentino said.
Starting Tuesday, Katigbak Drive and South Drive will be closed to traffic from 8 am, while the southbound lane of Quezon Blvd. in Quiapo, from Andalucia-Fugoso to Plaza Miranda, and España-P.Campa-Lerma will be closed to public utility vehicles from 4 am. on January 9.
But from 5 am on Wednesday, total closure for all types of vehicles will implemented, Tolentino announced.
The following roads will be closed to traffic:
North Area: P. Campa/España; Nicanor Reyes/España; Andalucia/Fugoso; Recto/Isetann (Service Road) and Raon/Evangelista.
South Area: Ma. Orosa/P. Burgos; Lagusnilad/P. Burgos; Taft/Finance/Westbound; A. Villegas/Taft Ave. (LRT); 25th Street/Bonifacio Drive; N.A. Lopez/A. Villegas; Anda Circle/Bonifacio Drive; Gen. Luna/P. Burgos; Roxas Blvd. T.M. Kalaw; and Katigbak/Roxas Blvd.
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JANUARY 4, 2013
MMDA to Name Winners of "Barangay Power 2012" Search for Cleanest Barangays
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will announce the winners of "Barangay Power 2012" Search for Cleanest Barangays in Metro Manila on January 16, 2013.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said one barangay from each of the four contest categories will be awarded with P1 million cash prize each and plaques of recognition during the awards ceremony to be held at Tanghalang Pasigueño in Pasig City.
"We will be honoring four barangays that are not only the cleanest but those that have the most effective and sustainable solid waste management programs," Tolentino said.
The four winners will be chosen from the 37 finalist barangays earlier screened by a board of jurors composed of officials from the MMDA, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC).
Launched last March, the contest, which was initiated in partnership with the Metro Manila Mayors' Spouses Foundation, Inc. (MMMSFI), aims to encourage all barangays in the metropolis to maintain and sustain cleanliness in their areas.
The competition automatically covered the 1,705 barangays of Metro Manila which were grouped into four categories, depending on their land area and income.
Category A includes barangays with land area of 300 to 500 hectares and an income of P35 million and above; and Category B, barangays with land area of 100 to 299 hectares and income of P20 to 35 million.
On the other hand, barangays with land area of one to 99 hectares and income of P19 million below comprised Category C; while village-barangays or villages in barangays that are self-governing will be grouped in Category D.
Tolentino said the 37 barangays that made it to the final list of cleanest barangays underwent rigorous screening and assessment by the board of jurors.
The criteria for judging include the absence of all kinds of litters or garbage along sidewalks, streets, drains, esteros, and canals; adoption of a city / municipal ordinance on anti-littering / illegal dumping; apprehension of litterbugs; and compliance on the provisions of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
"We hope that this competition will motivate all barangays in Metro Manila to sustain the cleanliness of their areas of jurisdictions," Tolentino said.
Expected to attend the awarding ceremonies are the 17 mayors of Metro Manila with their respective spouses, and officials representatives from DENR, DILG, NSWMC, and non-government organizations and academe.
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JANUARY 3, 2013
Modified Truck Ban Hours May Be Extended --- MMDA
Due to the success of the modified truck ban this Christmas season, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) may extend its implementation beyond January 6, 2013.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said he is presently consulting with the Metro Manila Council (MMC), particularly the Special Traffic Committee (STC) headed by Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, concerning the planned extension of the new truck ban rules. The modified truck ban rules will complement the enhanced bus segregation scheme in EDSA being implemented by the agency.
"As per our initial assessment, the first three-week implementation of this modified truck ban has been a success, especially in reducing traffic congestion in our road networks," Tolentino said.
The modified truck ban hours, as approved by STC in consultation with various truck ban operators, was first implemented starting December 7, and is in effect until January 6 this coming year.
The modified truck ban hours are from 6 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 10 pm from Mondays to Saturdays. The truck ban in Edsa, from Magallanes Interchange to Trinoma mall in Quezon City, is in effect the whole day from Mondays to Sundays.
Trucks carrying perishable goods such as agricultural products are still exempted from the modified truck ban.
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