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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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Metro Manila shake drill set on July 27 – MMDA

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019

FILE: PNP National Headquarters participated in the 1st Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on April 21, 2016. Response and Rescue operations were also done during the activity. (Photo: PNP FB Page)

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to hold an earthquake drill, dubbed as Metro Manila Shake Drill, on July 27.

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said this year’s shake drill will start as early as four in the morning, to be signaled by the sounding of an alarm.

“For this year, it will be done on a weekend and at almost the break of dawn when most Metro Manila residents are at home and asleep,” he said.

“We are doing this to prepare everyone to minimize damage and loss of life,” he added.

Garcia said they intentionally scheduled the drill very early in the morning so the public can participate.

Shake drills in the past years were done during daytime and even on rush hours, with last year leveling up to an unannounced, rush hour daytime drill.

“We want to test the response capabilities and preparedness of LGUs and the private sector as earthquake may occur anytime,” Garcia said.

The MMDA official added that during the shake drill, they will mobilize agency employees, Metro local government units and other groups to demonstrate their contingency plans in case strong earthquake hits the metropolis.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, also the head of the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC), will visit city halls and designated emergency operation centers in the metro on the day of the drill.

Different emergency scenarios will also be staged at city hall offices, establishments, communities, businesses, and households.

“We expect more active and full participation of the private sector as government’s partner in disaster and emergency preparedness and response for Metro Manila,” said Garcia.

During the drill, the agency will also practice the deployment of personnel to designated emergency operation centers located at the four quadrants in Metro Manila.

The MMDA said the northern quadrant will use the Veterans Memorial Medical Center Golf Course as evacuation camp while the western quadrant will use the Intramuros Golf Course.

The eastern quadrant will use the LRT-2 Santolan Depot while the southern quadrant will use the Villamor Golf Course.

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DOTr’s Tugade meets with Tolentino on emergency powers bid vs PH traffic woes

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade on Wednesday met with Senator Francis Tolentino to discuss plans on refiling an emergency powers bill to solve the country’s traffic woes, particularly in Metro Manila.

Tugade said he met with Tolentino to tackle the measure that has been pending in both chambers of Congress for more than two years.

The transportation chief said he will do his best to convince lawmakers to pass the bill, which he sees as a vital solution to the country’s perennial problem on traffic.

“‘Wag po nating pabaunan ng duda ‘yung deliberasyon, pababaunan ko yan ng kaliwanagan sa pag-uusap. Naniniwala ako na kung ang mga mag-uusap ay may kaliwanagan, magkakaroon ng kooperasyon, pwede po nating mapadali ito,” he told reporters in an interview.

(Let us not cast doubt on the deliberation, I will shed light on its importance during discussion. I believe than when it is tackled by people who understand it, there will be cooperation. This can be fast-tracked.)

Tolentino earlier said he will push for the emergency powers bid once the incoming 18th Congress convenes on July 22.

The lawmaker said his version of the bill focuses on strengthening the mandate of concerned agencies and local government units to address the traffic crisis.

“Nalagyan natin ng ibang detalye na wala dati, for instance ‘yung working hours, ‘yung adjustment ng oras ng pagpasok at yung role ng mga local government units,” he said.

(We have placed there details that are not present in the previous bill, for instance the working hours, adjustment of working hours and the role of local government units.)

The bill seeking to ease the worsening traffic situation was first filed after Duterte said in his 2016 State of the Nation Address that traffic problems should be legitimately addressed if Congress could accord him emergency powers.

He eventually gave up on his plan after some lawmakers said that the emergency powers might be used for corruption.

Under the proposed Traffic Crisis Act, previously filed in the 17th Congress, the Transportation Secretary will be designated as Traffic Chief with power of control and supervision over land transportation agencies. He will also have the authority to harmonize and enforce all traffic rules and regulations to implement a unified traffic system throughout each of the metropolitan areas and implement programs that will have significant impact on addressing the traffic crisis.

The bill was approved on third and final reading of the House of Representatives while its Senate version reached the plenary but was not approved until the 17th Congress adjourned.

Although there is a need to resolve the worsening traffic woes in the country, the DOTr said that once the bill is refiled, they will not ask the president to certify it as urgent.

“Kung magkasundo po kami sa mga datos at detalye, hindi po ba mas magandang pumunta kami kay pangulo na handa na yung detalye kaysa blanket na hihingin na wala pang detalye?  Hindi ho ba mas magandang proseso yung ganun?” he said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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DILG chief commends new Metro Manila mayors for good performance

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

(L-R) Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto, Makati Mayor Abby Binay and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año has commended Metro Manila mayors for their good performance in their first 100 days.

Año has lauded Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso for his political will in solving several problems in Manila. This includes the clean-up in Divisoria and waste-management program.

“I’m pleased that in the first weeks of his administration, Mayor Isko has already shown that the challenges of the city are not insurmountable and can be addressed with political will and commitment,” he said.

Año also lauds Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto and Makati Mayor Abby Binay for their good performance. He assured to support these young leaders.

“Our young leaders can count on our support to implement their good governance agenda. That is why the DILG is here. We are not only your supervisors, we are also your partners and mentors, your guidance counselors and your cheerleaders. Your success is our success as well,” he said.—AAC

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