Metro Manila shake drill set on July 27 – MMDA

Robie de Guzman   •   July 12, 2019   •   1825

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.

Metro Manila, Davao, Cebu top priority in COVID-19 vaccine deployment – Galvez

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Areas with high cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) such as Metro Manila, Davao, and Cebu will be prioritized in the distribution of the vaccine once it becomes available, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

Galvez said this is part of the government’s strategy for the conduct of COVID-19 mass immunization in adherence to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to prioritize the poor and government frontliners in the vaccination.

During a meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) in Davao City on Monday, Galvez said they will employ two strategies in the distribution of the vaccine – geographical and sectoral.

Once the infected areas have been selected, vaccines will then be distributed to the target beneficiaries.

The vaccine czar expressed confidence that this strategies will help the country contain the spread of the virus and recover from economic losses due to the pandemic.

“And then from geographical magiging sectoral. Meaning, kung sino ‘yung priority natin ‘no, for example sa Manila, ‘yung urban poor uunahin po natin ‘yon; ‘yung mga vulnerable uunahin po natin doon; ‘yung mga sundalong naka-assign sa NCR uunahin po natin at saka po ‘yung mga essential workers,” Galvez said.

“Iyon po mayroon pong impact ‘yon kaagad sa ating economy at may impact kaagad na ma-contain po kaagad. So ang strategy po natin, Mr. President, po is geographical, priority ang NCR, priority ang Davao dahil ang Davao po ngayon umaakyat din, priority ‘yung Cebu, priority po ‘yung mga Bacolod, ‘yung mga tinamaan po ng mabibigat ng COVID,” he added.

Immunizing areas with high number of COVID-19 infections will help the government in its assessment on the efficacy of the vaccines, according to Galvez.

So far, several vaccine developers are set to conduct clinical trials in the Philippines. These include Sinovac, Hansen, Johnson & Johnson, Gamaleya, AstraZeneca, and CanSino.

Duterte earlier allowed the release of advance payment to companies developing potential COVID-19 vaccine to secure the country’s supply as recommended by Galvez.

With the president’s approval, the vaccine czar said the government can now proceed with Advance Market Commitment and start negotiating with big pharmaceutical companies such as China’s Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer.

He added that the government can secure advance commitment with Astra Zeneca for 20 million doses this month.

Galvez earlier projected that the vaccine supply can be made available by the second quarter of 2021 once an agreement has been signed.

The Philippine government previously said it is looking at multilateral financing institutions such as the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance vaccine procurements.

Local banks such as the Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines are also possible sources of funds.

MMDA collects 841 tons of ‘Ulysses’ garbage in Marikina, San Mateo

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) collected 841.34 tons of garbage in Marikina City and San Mateo in Rizal during the post- Typhoon Ulysses cleanup.

According to MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, clearing operations continue in affected areas where at least 150 personnel are deployed onsite.

Garbage collected includes broken appliances, furniture, equipment, soiled stuff and clothing.

“Our personnel shall continue rendering assistance to affected residents until local government units’ rehabilitation works are completed. We are always ready to help in restoring normalcy in the affected communities,” he said.

Areas of operation in Marikina City are in Barangays Malanday, Sto. Niño and Tañong, particularly Provident Village, while areas of operation in San Mateo, Rizal are in Barangays Guitnang Bayan, Banaba, and Sta. Ana. AAC

MMDA to close 2 more EDSA U-turn slots on November 23

Marje Pelayo   •   November 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Two more U-turn slots along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) will be closed starting Monday (November 23) in line with the EDSA Busway project.

The said move aims to provide faster mobility for the commuting public, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said in an advisory.

Traffic advisory signages were installed in the vicinity for the closure of the two U-turn slots located along EDSA near Oliveros Drive and Balintawak Market.

Affected motorists are advised to take the following detour routes:

From northbound going southbound, affected vehicles may take the Balintawak Interchange, General Malvar/Bagong Barrio U-turn slot.

From southbound going northbound, affected vehicles may take Quezon Avenue service road U-turn.

The EDSA Busway designates the innermost lane of EDSA as an exclusive lane for public utility buses (PUBs) travelling along the national highway, from Monumento in Caloocan to SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

“The government’s goal of providing safe, reliable, and efficient travel for commuters along the country’s main thoroughfare will further continue in coordination with concerned agencies,” said MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said.

Other alternative routes for closed U-turn slots between North Avenue and Manila Central University in Monumento are as follows:

For vehicles coming from Manila going to Bagong Barrio:

• Coming from A. Bonifacio Ave., turn right at Del Monte Ave. then turn left at Banawe Ave., then turn left to Sgt. Rivera Ave., then cross A. Bonifacio Ave. taking C-3 Road then turn right at Rizal Ave. going to Monumento

  • Or turn left on 7th Ave. then turn right on Rizal Ave. going to Monumento

For vehicles coming from Grace Park going to EDSA Northbound:

• Take 10th Ave. until Rizal Ave. to Monumento

For vehicles coming from Manila going to NLEX:

• From Rizal Avenue, turn right on 5th Ave. to make a U-turn, then cross Rizal Ave. going to NLEX Harbor Link C-3 Entry Ramp

• From A. Bonifacio Ave., turn right at Del Monte Ave. then turn left at Banawe Ave., then turn left to Sgt. Rivera Ave., then cross A. Bonifacio Ave. taking C-3 Road to enter NLEX using C-3 entry ramp

For vehicles coming from Howmart Road to EDSA Southbound (SB):

• Take Cloverleaf NW Loop going to A. Bonifacio Avenue

• Take SW Loop going to EDSA Southbound

For those coming from Project 8, Quezon City area going EDSA SB to Cubao/Makati:

• Take inner roads to Mindanao Ave.

• From Mindanao Ave., either:

1. Make a U-turn then make a right turn to Road 1 until you reach Visayas Ave., then proceed to QC Circle and exit at either Quezon Ave., East Ave. or Kalayaan Ave.

2. Make a left turn to North Ave., then right turn at Agham Road until you reach Quezon Ave.

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