Manila LGU seeks suspension of Baclaran-Divisoria jeepney route

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2019   •   1207

The Manila local government seeks to suspend the Baclaran-Divisoria jeepney route due to numerous complaints of cutting trips.

According to Mayor Isko Moreno, the roads along the area are already cleared so there is no reason for drivers to cut trips.

He also said it is unfair for passengers to pay the full amount but have their trip cut short.

“Pagod na pagod na iyong mga iyan. Biruin niyo kayo magtrabaho otso oras. Ang gusto mo sumakay ng jeep, umuwi nalang, makatulog makasama ang pamilya mo tapos matotolongges ka pa sa kalye, (These [passengers] are already tired. Imagine working for eight hours and you just want to take a jeep and go home to be with your family, but then you will get stranded on the road),” he said.

The local government is already preparing the complaint to be filed before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to suspend the Baclaran-Divisoria jeepney route.

Other routes including MCU-Blumentritt, Cubao-Divisoria, as well as routes in Padre Faura, Pedro Gil and Paco are also at risk of suspension.

The Manila LGU is also receiving complaints of cutting trip against jeepneys operating in Morayta, Far Eastern University, and Philippine School of Business Administration.

Meanwhile, the LTFRB said they will thoroughly review the complaint to be filed by the Manila government.

“We’ll accept whatever complaint the city will file against any and all public utility jeepneys. Kahit na anuman, pwedeng may UV express or may taxi na pupunta rito sa Metro Manila na nagti-trip cutting o kaya’y nag-aabuso sa kanilang prangkisa, (Whether that is a UV Express or taxi that are cutting trips in Metro Manila or if they are abusing their franchise we will accept it)” according to LTFRB Chairman Atty. Martin Delgra III.

Moreno already held a meeting with the officials of the LTFRB and Inter-Agency for Traffic regarding the traffic problem in Manila.—AAC (with reports from April Cenedoza)

Lunar New Year event in Binondo to push amid novel coronavirus risk

Robie de Guzman   •   January 23, 2020

Filipino-Chinese revelers scramble to get candies in celebration of the Chinese New Year at Manila’s Chinatown, Philippines, 08 February 2016. Filipino-Chinese communities welcome the Year of the Monkey, holding various activities and practices traditionally believed to bring good fortune for revelers. EPA/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – Organizers of festivities connected with the Chinese New Year celebration on January 25 said the countdown event scheduled in Binondo on Friday will still push through amid the threat of novel coronavirus spreading internationally.

Thousands of people are expected to troop on Binondo streets during the countdown event on Friday night, making the transmission of the virus from an infected person very likely in this kind of environment.

Cholo Sediaren, one of the organizers of the Chinese New Year in Manila, said they are closely coordinating with local authorities for the safety of the participants amid the threat of a new coronavirus strain which has already killed 17 in China.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to pull off na would be enjoyable but at the same time be safe for everyone especially since the line-up is really big and we are expecting a lot of people to attend,” Sediaren said.

Authorities in the District of Binondo – also known as Manila’s Chinatown – said they are on alert against the disease and distributed face masks to their constituents to prevent them from getting the virus.

They also advised residents not to join the festivities if he or she is feeling under the weather or are having flu-like symptoms such as cough, fever or colds.

The National Health Commission of China reported that as of Wednesday, more than 500 people have been infected by the new coronavirus strain. There are eight other known cases from other countries – Thailand has four confirmed cases, while Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and the United States have each reported one.

The previously unknown coronavirus strain was first detected in the Chinese City of Wuhan in late December 2019.

In the Philippines, there is no confirmed case yet of the new coronavirus strain according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. However, they are monitoring several individuals from China who were reported to have manifested symptoms of respiratory illness.

Common symptoms of novel coronavirus include cough, throat irritation, and fever.

Coronavirus, which is a large group of viruses common among animals, causes respiratory infections ranging from common colds to more serious diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The virus can be transmitted to humans through contact with an infected person or animal, authorities said.

The Department of Health has advised the public to always practice frequent handwashing, avoid crowded places and contact with an infected person, and to thoroughly cook food, especially meat and dairy products. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Fish vendors urged not to hike prices amid reported shortage of tilapia, bangus from Laguna and Batangas

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Wednesday, January 15, called on fish dealers not to take advantage of the reported shortage of bangus and tilapia fishes from Laguna and Batangas amid the Taal Volcano unrest.

In a radio interview, Domagoso advised fish vendors to refrain from jacking up their prices, and to accept supplies coming from other sources other than their usual dealer or “suki”.

“We already gave a directive sa aming market administrator, sa aming 17 markets namin na tanggapin lahat ng uri ng supply galing sa north kasi meron palang suki-suki, eh kapag nawala yung suking supply, hindi sila kukuha,” he said.

Mayor Isko said additional supplies would be coming in from Central Luzon and the Cordillera Administrative Region to meet the city’s demand for fish products, as assured by the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

“So kapag hindi sila kumuha, magkakaroon ng shortage, eh meron naman palang enough na supply, pero sa ibang lugar nanggaling. Kaya wala silang dahilan para magtaas ng presyo,” he said.

Manila LGU calls on traders not to raise face mask prices amid Taal ash fall

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Local authorities on Monday, January 13, called on traders not to raise the ceiling prices of face mask amid the ash fall being experienced in many parts of Luzon following the explosion of Taal Volcano.

Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuña-Pangan made the call following reports that the prices of face masks, particularly N95 masks, shot up following reports of dust particles and hazardous haze blanketing parts of Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon areas.

In a statement issued by the Manila Public Information Office, Lacuña-Pangan said face masks sold in various stores have increased, from the usual P25-P30 price a piece, N95 face mask now costs P200.

There was also reported shortage of supply of face masks and hoarding by suppliers to jack up the prices.

“Huwag naman po natin gamitin ang panahon na ito para manamantala. Tandaan po natin, delikado po sa kalusugan nila ito,” Lacuna-Pangan said.

“Ayaw ko pong makakita ng pasyenteng may asthma na itinakbo sa ospital dahil lang hindi siya makahanap o makabili ng mask,” she added.

The upsurge in mask prices follows the increase in demand after authorities urged the public to wear protective masks to avoid inhalation of fine dust particles in the air due to the Taal ash fall.

The Department of Health has warned the public of the hazards that the ash fall may bring to one’s health.

The vice mayor said the city’s Bureau of Permits and Manila Licenses Office have been tasked to inspect stores and other establishments selling N95 and other face masks to ensure that prices remain stable.

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