MMDA advises motorists, commuters to prefer carpooling on holiday week

Marje Pelayo   •   December 16, 2019   •   890

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) assures of enough number of public utility buses this holiday week for passengers bound for the provinces.

The agency has approved special permits to provincial buses bound for provinces in nearby areas in Northern and Southern Luzon, Bicol and in areas in Visayas and Mindanao.

The special permit will take effect from December 23 to January 3, 2020.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra reminds bus operators of the standard protocol on drivers for province bound buses.

Bus firm must ensure that they have substitute drivers for trips six hours and longer for safety of the passengers and the drivers themselves.

“Whatever be the case, we always remind them […] be mindful of the road rules and regulations and be mindful of the safety of the passengers,” Delgra emphasized.

Now that more buses will ply the roads during the holiday week, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) advised private motorists to brace for heavier traffic situation.

“Kasi ayaw nilang magbayad ng (they refuse to pay for) terminal fee so that’s what they do. They crawl EDSA,” MMDA’s Traffic Chief Edison Nebrija observed of bus drivers.

“Nagba-barker ang konduktor (bus conductors would try) getting chance passengers. Hindi naman namin pwedeng payagan iyan (But we will not allow that) because they will delay the flow of traffic,” he added.

Aside from bus drivers getting unruly on EDSA, last minute shoppers also add to the traffic jam, Nebrija said.

“The week before Christmas iyan ang peak ng traffic because iyan na ang Christmas rush na tinatawag. Lahat nag-a-apura na mamimili (The week before Christmas is the peak of traffic because of the so-called Christmas rush. Everyone is on a rush shopping),” he said.

To help ease traffic, the MMDA encourages carpooling for travel convenience.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) launched today the Oplan Byaheng Ayos to ensure that strict monitoring and security is enforced in bus terminals, seaports and airports to maintain smooth travel this holiday season.

The program remains effective until January 5, 2020.

MMDA officer carries sick child to hospital amid traffic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 20, 2020

Mit Javellana and her family were on their way to the hospital. Her son, Earl, was having chills due to high fever and was in need of medical attention.

But their car was not moving due to the severe traffic and they had no choice but to forcefully make their way through just to get to the hospital.

An MMDA officer, Jeremi Lukban, noticed and approached them.

“Nung malaman niyang papuntang ER, nag-offer siya na buhatin si Earl at naglakad na lang pa-ospital (When he learned that we are going to the ER, he offered to carry Earl and walked to the hospital),” Mit said in her Facebook post.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim lauded Lukban’s action and reminded the public to never hesitate to ask the MMDA for any assistance.

“Lagi tayong handang tumulong sa ating mga kababayan (We are always ready to help our fellowmen),” he said in his Facebook post.—AAC

Authorities caught motorcycle riders in Cagayan de Oro operating under Angkas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 7, 2020

Authorities have caught several motorcycle riders operating as taxi service under the ride-hailing app Angkas in Cagayan De Oro City which is outside of the designated Motorcycle Taxi Service Pilot Implementation Study area.

After receiving several complaints, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Region 10 office conducted the operation against several units of Angkas. The motorcycles were immediately impounded.

In a Facebook post of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the riders were “reported to have been violating the terms of the MC Taxi Pilot Study guidelines adopted by the Technical Working Group (TWG).”

“Under current transport laws, Motorcycles are strictly prohibited from being utilized as public transportation. The exception now is the ongoing MC Pilot Study program being implemented by the TWG in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu only,” the post reads

Under the law, riders who are operating colorum motorcycles will be fined P6,000.

The pilot test run is still on-going and is expected to be done by March 23, 2020.

Meanwhile, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court was not in favor with the request of the Lawyers for Commuters Safety to suspend operations of other motorcycle taxis.

Based on the court’s decision, the group presented insufficient evidence for the court to provide a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against other motorcycle taxis for hire.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

LIST: Road closures in Manila due to Traslacion 2020

Robie de Guzman   •   January 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced the closure of some roads in Manila on January 9 to give way to the annual Traslacion event of the Catholic community.

In an advisory, the MMDA said the following roads will be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic as these will serve as the procession’s route:

  • Quirino Grandstand
  • Katigbak Road thru Padre Burgos St.
  • Finance Road thru Ayala Boulevard
  • Palanca St.
  • Quezon Boulevard
  • Arlegui St.
  • Fraternal St.
  • Vergara St.
  • Duque de Alba St.
  • Castillejos St.
  • Farnecio St.
  • Arlegui St.
  • Nepomuceno St.
  • Concepcion Aguila St.
  • Carcer St.
  • Hidalgo thru Plaza Del Carmen
  • Bilibid Viejo thru Gil Puyat
  • JP De Guzman St.
  • Hidalgo St.
  • Quezon Boulevard
  • Palanca St. thru under Quezon Bridge
  • Villalobos thru Plaza Miranda

MMDA chairman Danilo Lim said he has ordered these roads be cleared of obstruction and debris for the safety of the devotees.

He added that tents, plastic barriers and fences are also now being set up at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila where several activities in connection with the procession will be held.

The MMDA said it will deploy 1,000 personnel to help ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of the procession.

“Our action plan is already in place. Aside from manpower, ambulances, road emergency vehicles, traffic mobile cars, and other necessary equipment will also be dispatched,” Lim said.

The agency will also position street sweepers and road clearing group members at the tail of the procession to immediately clear roads of all types of clutter.

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