MMDA clarifies community pantries urged to coordinate with LGUs, permits not required

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 28, 2021   •   276

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has clarified that the agency is only urging community pantries to coordinate with local government units (LGUs) and is not requiring them to apply for a permit.

On Wednesday (April 28), MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia reiterated helping fellowmen should not require any permits.

What needs to be done, Garcia added, is to make sure that the people queueing in community pantries should be safe from getting infected by coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through physical distancing, wearing of face masks, and other health protocols.

Ang nilabas lang nating resolution is ‘urging strongly’ ang ating organizers makipag-coordinate sa ating LGUs, barangay, sa mga mayor nila para at least ang minimum health protocol maipatupad natin (The resolution only said that it ‘urging strongly’ the organizers to coordinate with LGUs, barangay, mayors so that, at least, the minimum health protocol is implemented), he said.

Garcia said the MMDA only seeks to provide assistance to the organizers of community pantries in keeping the people safe from the virus spread. AAC

Duterte: I salute community pantry scheme but…

Robie de Guzman   •   June 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said that he salutes individuals and groups behind community pantries but stressed that protocols against the transmission of COVID-19 should be strictly observed during these events.

Duterte issued the statement after receiving information that at least 86 persons have tested positive for coronavirus disease after going to a food distribution activity in a barangay in Quezon City more than two weeks ago.

While he acknowledges the intention behind the establishment of community pantries, the chief executive said organizers must ensure that these activities will not go out of control and become super spreader events.

“Wala man question itong pantry scheme. As a matter of fact, I salute the people behind this and those who originated it,” Duterte said during his weekly public address on Monday night.

He also said that basic health protocols should likewise be implemented to avoid overcrowding and minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“Nagkulang sila (pantry organizers) and maybe they are ignorant of the prohibition imposed by law, not by me. Hindi siguro niyo nabasa pero sa totohanan lang, if it is a matter of assessing whether or not you are doing good you are doing super good,” he said.

“Saludo ako at maganda ang konsensya ninyo sa tao ninyo but please read the restrictions first,” he added.

MMDA orders removal of obstruction under several flyovers in EDSA

Marje Pelayo   •   June 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —  The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has ordered the removal of obstructions at the ground level of three flyovers in EDSA.

On Tuesday (June 8), MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos inspected the ground sections of flyovers in EDSA-Kamuning, Timog and Quezon Avenue.

This prompted the official to immediately order the clearing of all types of clutter and obstructions, including illegally-parked and abandoned vehicles, mostly involved in accidents in the said areas.

“Hindi pwedeng gamiting impounding ito. This is a national highway. Kalye ito. Maski sino, bawal gumamit nito. We will coordinate with the proper authorities on this matter,” Abalos stressed.

“No parking” and tow away signages will be placed in the said areas, he added.

He also appealed to the vehicle owners to refrain from parking at the ground level of flyovers, saying these should be open spaces.

“I will make sure that violators will be sanctioned and issued violation tickets for illegal parking,” Abalos said.

Meanwhile, the MMDA chief also instructed the heads of Metro Parkways Clearing Group (MPCG) and Road Emergency Group (REG) to remove unnecessary MMDA equipment in the said areas.

“The equipment that the MMDA is utilizing for emergency purposes will be retained, but not this much. Further, we will identify strategic locations to relocate the remaining equipment. MMDA should set an example here,” Abalos reiterated.

Discarded damaged orange barriers will be disposed of as garbage, while broken concrete barriers will be smashed and will be used as filling materials at the MMDA Tumana impounding area in Marikina.

The MMDA chief clarified that this directive is applicable to all areas within the jurisdiction of MMDA and not on EDSA alone.

The move is in line with the agency’s drive against urban decay and to ensure orderliness and cleanliness in the metropolis.

MMDA launches bayanihan to fight urban decay

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has launched a bayanihan program to fight urban decay.

The MMDA launched Metro Bayanihan which aims to intensify sidewalk clearing operations, cleaning of waterways, anti-littering, and anti-dengue drive to promote general cleanliness of Metro Manila and the well-being of its residents.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said the agency is closely coordinating with the local government units in Metro Manila to make sure that the clean-up can cover all barangays in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The said program aims to mitigate flooding, dengue, leptospirosis, and water-borne diseases especially at the beginning of the rainy season.

“Garbage-laden waterways are oftentimes breeding grounds of mosquitoes and other insects which can cause diseases. We are stepping up our efforts to make sure that these problems won’t add up to the burdens brought by this pandemic,” he said.

The MMDA will also conduct misting and fogging operations to eliminate possible breeding areas and kill dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

Abalos also appealed to the public to participate in the campaign to eradicate trash, diseases and encourage sustainable healthy urban living.

“During these times, we’ve seen how important a clean surrounding is, and we want every barangay to do their part in making Metro Manila clean, orderly, healthy, and more livable,” he said. -AAC

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