by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019
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.
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The C3 bridge in Navotas will be temporarily closed to traffic starting July 20 to give way for the construction of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) Harbor Link Segment 10 C3 to R10 section project, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on Thursday.
The project is a 2.6-kilometer elevated expressway from C3 Road in Caloocan City to Radial Road 10 in Navotas City.
To enable NLEX to construct the elevated road crossing over Navotas River along C3, the MMDA said, one side of C3 bridge will be closed beginning 11 p.m. on Saturday.
Due to the partial closure, light vehicles coming from C3 Road going to Radial Road 10 and vice versa will be rerouted along Dagat-Dagatan Avenue and Lapu-Lapu Avenue.
Heavy vehicles may still use the two-way traffic route at the remaining bound of C3 Bridge.
“We are advising motorists to plan their trips ahead and, at the same time, seek their understanding as the partial closure of C3 Bridge is necessary to complete this project on time,” said MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia.
To ensure smooth flow of vehicles and minimize traffic slowdown, the MMDA said traffic marshals will be deployed and directional traffic signs will also be placed to guide the public.
Works at the bridge is expected to be completed in November, while the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 C3 to R10 section is seen to be finished by December.
The project will connect to the recently opened 5.65-kilometer NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 that passes through Valenzuela City, Malabon City, and Caloocan City.
Once completed, the elevated road crossing is expected to provide direct access between R10 and NLEX thus contribute to ease of travel and traffic decongestion in Metro Manila.
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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