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I-ACT launches Task Force Alamid to address traffic woes this holiday season

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2017

Task force ALAMID

MANILA, Philippines — The bumper to bumper traffic is a normal scene in Metro Manila everyday.

Adding to this is the sale events of malls that cause more congestion on roads due to vehicles parked along roads and erring drivers who ply the stretch of EDSA.

The government’s Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (IACT) wants to resolve all these problems.

On Thursday, I-ACT launched what it dubbed as Task Force Alamid.

Under this task force, 300 traffic law enforcers from the Metro Manila and Development Authority (MMDA) Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol will coordinate in managing and fixing the flow of vehicles this holiday season.

The Metro Manila local traffic enforcers, the joint task force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), leagues of barangays and several volunteers from the group Ligtas Patrol will also help in the said effort.

“Our scope is not just in Metro Manila, and but also in areas where MMDA is not allowed like airports and seaports,” said Department of Tranportation (DOTr) Road Transport Usec. Thomas Orbos.

“We can coordinate as well with the movement of the arrivals, the departing passengers, those queuing along NLEX, and SLEX. You might not be aware, the queuing of vehicles there is extreme even on regular days,” he added.

Task Force Alamid immediately began its work on Thursday along the coastal road in Baclaran.

During the operation, the task force apprehended nine “colorum” vans or PUVs without permits with routes from Cavite to Lawton.

“I know this is legal. I have a paper, but it’s just not here,” said a driver of a colorum van.

One of the apprehended vehicles even had a sticker of the Office of the President attached to it. When the driver was asked about the sticker, he refused to answer.

Authorities issued violation tickets to the erring drivers and towed their vehicles.

The apprehended drivers will pay fines of up to P200,000 and their vehicles will be impounded for three months.

It can be noted that a research by a Japanese organization in 2012 revealed that the country’s economy loses P2.4 billion daily due to heavy traffic. — Joan Nano| UNTV News & Rescue

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DILG to summon 1k village execs defying orders on Manila Bay rehab

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

Manila Bay

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will summon village chiefs who are not complying with orders in relation with the ongoing Manila Bay rehabilitation.

DILG Undersecretary for barangay operations, Martin Diño, said at a press briefing on Thursday that they are set to issue a show cause order against 1,000 barangays along the Manila Bay Watershed Area for failing to follow orders to strictly enforce environmental laws in their respective areas.

Diño said cases will be filed before the Office of the Ombudsman if these village executives fail to justify their non-compliance with the order.

The DILG official also reiterated that the dismissal of Malay, Aklan Mayor Cicero Cawaling should serve as a warning to all local officials.

Cawaling was dismissed from public office after he was found guilty of gross neglect of duty and other offenses in relation with Boracay island’s environmental degradation.

“’Yung mga mayor sa Metro Manila at yung 179 mayors that cover Manila Bay, hindi kayo exempted dito. Baka kayo na ang kasunod,” Diño warned.

The official said 179 local government units and 5,714 barangays have been ordered to conduct weekly clean-up drives in Manila Bay and Laguna Lake in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte through Memorandum Circular No. 2019-09.

READ: PH gov’t tells metro LGUs: Impose strict guidelines on estero clean-up

In a recent statement, the DILG called on local officials anew to work closely with concerned government agencies in protecting the environment in Boracay, Manila Bay watershed and other critical areas in the country. (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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MMDA: Edsa bus ban one of the best options in decongesting Metro Manila

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

MMDA personnel accost provincial buses traversing Edsa. (Photo courtesy of MMDA)

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Tuesday (April 30) that the impending implementation of the provincial bus ban on Edsa remains as one of the best alternatives to decongest Metro Manila roads.

MMDA traffic chief Bong Nebrija said in an interview that it is standing by its resolution of shutting down provincial bus terminals on Edsa despite a petition seeking for a temporary restraining order.

The petition was filed on Monday by AKO Bicol Party-list before the Supreme Court.

Nebrija added that opposing a policy before its implementation will only hinder the agency from doing its job.

Under MMDA Resolution No. 19-002, local governments are urged to revoke or prohibit the issuance of business permits to all terminals and operators of public utility buses and vehicles along EDSA.

When this policy takes effect in June, provincial buses will be required to drop off passengers at government-constructed terminals like those in Parañaque, Valenzuela City and Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where they could transfer to city vehicles. 

In its 44-page petition, AKO Bicol argued that the MMDA and the Metro Manila Council have no authority to implement the ban as they were not authorized under the law to enact ordinances or approve resolutions. The group added that these are acts of police power that only individual local government units can exercise.

The group also said the measure was contrary to the Public Service Act which requires bus operators to maintain their own terminals as a requirement for the franchise, and that the move encroaches upon the authority of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to issue, amend and revoke certificates of public convenience to public utility vehicles.

But Nebrija stressed, the MMDA will only transfer and not abolish the provincial bus terminals on Edsa. He also added that the agency knows it has no police power that is why the resolution only urges local governments to shut down the terminals in their area.

If the policy is implemented next month, it would affect some 47 provincial bus terminals on Edsa. – Robie de Guzman

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Angat Dam level dips below minimum

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, April 29th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Water level in Angat Dam continues to drop below its minimum operating level of 180 meters and below the normal high water mark of 210 meters.

As of 6:00 a.m. on Monday (April 29), Angat Dam’s water level has fallen to 179.97 meters.

This prompted the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to reduce water allocation to 10 cubic meters per second (cms) for irrigation from 35 cms.

But the NWRB clarified that the supply for Metro Manila will remain at 38 cms.

The agency recommends each consumer to reduce water consumption by four liters to help maintain supply.

“We are are looking at 4 liters a day for 12 million population, that would be around 48 million liters per day,” said Sevillo David Jr., executive director of the NWRB.

According to NWRB, water level in Angat Dam will further recede to 173.52 meters in May.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) noted that the Dam’s critical level is 160 meters.

The lowest level recorded was in July 2010 when Angat’s water dipped to 157.55 meters.

Meanwhile, Pagasa noted that 41 provinces currently affected by drought this month.

The agency added that the weak El Niño is expected to persist until August but several areas will experience normal rainfall starting May. — Marje Pelayo (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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