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.
A lawmaker in the Lower House has proposed to dedicate an express bus lane, while another suggested reserving certain hours for mass transportations only along EDSA to solve the perennial traffic in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare.
According to the data of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the average vehicular volume on EDSA is more than 400,000 every day and it is expected to increase further by 15 to 20% these BER-months.
House Committee on Transportation chairman Edgar Sarmiento suggested dedicating the innermost lane of EDSA as an express bus lane for those who will ride the MRT.
Three lanes will be allocated to private vehicles, while the outer lane will be for passenger buses that will stop in designated loading and unloading areas only.
These buses will be allowed to queue in for pick up and drop off of Metro Manila-bound passengers at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and the Valenzuela Gateway Complex Terminal.
Sarmiento said this scheme will prevent bus drivers from over-speeding and from overstaying in loading and unloading areas and cause traffic congestion.
“We propose this to eradicate the kanya-kanya system of the buses wherein they compete with each other creating chaos through overtaking, overspeeding, and overstaying,” Sarmiento said.
Meanwhile, Caloocan representative Edgar Erice has proposed the dedication of mass transport highway which aimed at giving priorities to public commuters.
Under his proposal, private vehicles will be off-limit along EDSA on certain hours every day.
“Dapat yung limang lanes ng EDSA from 6 to 9am at 6 to 9pm dedicated lang sa mga public utility vehicles [The five lanes on EDSA shall be dedicated only to public utility vehicles from 6:00 to 9:00am and at 6:00 to 9:00pm],” he stated.
With the 6-to-9-scheme, private car owners will have the option to use alternative roads, leave the house earlier than usual, take the bus, or take EDSA only after 9 o’clock.
The MMDA said it welcomes the said proposals.
“Ito yung pro commuter talaga; para sa mga ordinaryo nating mamamayan na mas mapabilis yung byahe nila. Ngayon, pagdating sa private may mga alternatibo naman sabi nga ni Cong Erice [This is really pro-commuter; for the ordinary people to have faster travel experience. Now, when it comes to private (car owners), there are alternatives as what Cong. Erice said],” according to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.
These suggestions, as well as the others, will go thru the MMDA’s engineering team for further study and screening for the selection of the feasible solutions for EDSA traffic.
The selected suggestions will be submitted to the Metro Manila Council meeting in October. (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – Several roads in Metro Manila will be closed to motorists starting Friday night to give way to the scheduled weekend road repairs and reblocking, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced.
In an advisory, the MMDA said repair works on the following roads will begin at 11 p.m. (Sept. 13) until 5 a.m. (Sept. 16):
EDSA-Bansalangin to North Avenue (U-turn), 5th lane from sidewalk
EDSA-Magallanes-Baclaran Bus Stop to Magallanes-Alabang Bus Stop
C-5 Road near Market Market Mall
C-5 Road in front of Palar Village in Taguig City
Quirino Highway-Salvia Street to before Belfast Road (outer lane)
Elliptical Road after Maharlika Street (8th lane from outer sidewalk)
General Luis Street-Rebisco Road to SB Road
Bonifacio Ave. near Selecta Drive (1st lane from sidewalk)
Batasan/ San Mateo Rd. in front of Petron (1st lane from center island)
EDSA Main Ave. to before P. Tuazon tunnel (1st lane from the sidewalk)
Katipunan Avenue/C-5 Road after CP Garcia St. (truck lane)
Affected motorists are advised to avoid the said areas and use alternate routes instead.
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