Duterte names Benhur Abalos as new MMDA chief

Maris Federez   •   January 11, 2021   •   264

MANILA, Philippines — Former Mandaluyong City mayor Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. has been named as the new chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), replacing former chair Danilo Lim who passed away last week.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go made the confirmation on the change in the MMDA leadership in a text message to the press on Sunday (January 10).

Go added that Abalos is expected to take his oath of office on Monday.

Malacañang has yet to make an official confirmation of Abalos’ appointment.

Abalos served as the mayor of Mandaluyong City from 1998 to 2004, and from 2007 to 2016. He also served as representative of Mandaluyong City from 2004 to 2007.

The former Mandaluyong Mayor’s father, Benjamin Sr., also served as MMDA chairman from 2001 to 2002.

The MMDA is mandated to plan, monitor, coordinate, and regulate the delivery of services in Metro Manila. —/mbmf

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Construction of elevated busways to begin in four months — MMDA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The construction of the elevated busways in several areas along EDSA will begin in four months, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos Jr. said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to submit the design by next week.

After the design submission, Abalos said the bidding process will begin.

“We have to go [through] the process of bidding of procurement which is about 3-4 months. Give us four months matatapos na po ito (it will be completed). Gagawin namin ito sa corner ng (We will construct this at the corner of) Quezon City and Caloocan.” 

The MMDA said the elevated busway is among the solutions to ease traffic along EDSA.

“There is only one way to beat this. It’s what we called the elevated bus ramps,” Abalos added.

The MMDA chairman said the agency has around P200 million budget from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Quezon City local government to fund the said project.

The agency is also looking for more ways to further increase its budget for the construction of the busways. -AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

Shooting incident stalls traffic near mall along Commonwealth Ave.

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

Photo by Rapid Uno Gonzales

Vehicular traffic along Commonwealth Avenue was temporarily stopped early Wednesday night following a shooting incident reported near the Ever Gotesco Mall, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said.

In an advisory, the MMDA said traffic on the eastbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue was temporarily stopped due to the armed encounter.

[Admin 24] MMDA UPDATE: Shooting incident at Commonwealth Ave. Ever Gotesco EB involving PNP as of 6:57 PM. Temporarily…

Posted by MMDA on Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The MMDA said the shooting incident was still ongoing around 6:57 p.m. with police officers at the scene.

“Ongoing zipper lane on WB side bound to Fairview. PNP and MMDA on site,” the agency said.

The management of the Ever Gotesco mall in Commonwealth have confirmed reports of a shootout outside of the mall but did not provide any information about the incident.

“We have secured all access to the mall so all shoppers are safe inside. Our priority right now is to ensure the safety of the employees and the public,” the mall said in a statement.

“The management is closely coordinating with the PNP of the current situation. Please bear with us as we allow with the authorities to handle the situation,” it added.

The mall management also urged the public to “exercise caution in sharing unconfirmed information online.”

MMDA to open zipper lane along White Plains Ave. for EDSA anniversary

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced it will open a zipper lane along the eastbound direction of White Plains Avenue in Quezon City on Thursday, February 25, for the celebration of the 35th EDSA People Power Revolution.

In an advisory, the MMDA said the zipper lane or counterflow scheme will be opened in front of Camp Aguinaldo Gate 5 and will accommodate the volume of vehicles going to EDSA.

Plastic barriers and traffic cones shall be installed to guide the motorists on the use of the zipper lane along White Plains and at the sidewalk along EDSA in front of the People Power Monument, it added.

The agency also said that a simple and short program will be held at the People Power Monument at 8 a.m. but there will be no road closure.

As part of its traffic management plan in coordination with the Philippine National Police and the local government unit of Quezon City, the MMDA said it will deploy traffic marshals to manage traffic flow along White Plains and other areas of concern as early as 4 a.m.

“Road clearing operations will also be conducted to remove illegally-parked vehicles at the areas of concern, including Temple Drive and EDSA Shrine,” it added.

The MMDA assured that minimum health protocols set by Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) such as physical distancing, mandatory wearing of face mask and face shield, will be observed among its personnel to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease amid the general community quarantine status in Metro Manila.

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