MMDA: Edsa bus ban one of the best options in decongesting Metro Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   May 1, 2019   •   2369

MMDA personnel accost provincial buses traversing Edsa. (Photo courtesy of MMDA)

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Tuesday (April 30) that the impending implementation of the provincial bus ban on Edsa remains as one of the best alternatives to decongest Metro Manila roads.

MMDA traffic chief Bong Nebrija said in an interview that it is standing by its resolution of shutting down provincial bus terminals on Edsa despite a petition seeking for a temporary restraining order.

The petition was filed on Monday by AKO Bicol Party-list before the Supreme Court.

Nebrija added that opposing a policy before its implementation will only hinder the agency from doing its job.

Under MMDA Resolution No. 19-002, local governments are urged to revoke or prohibit the issuance of business permits to all terminals and operators of public utility buses and vehicles along EDSA.

When this policy takes effect in June, provincial buses will be required to drop off passengers at government-constructed terminals like those in Parañaque, Valenzuela City and Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where they could transfer to city vehicles. 

In its 44-page petition, AKO Bicol argued that the MMDA and the Metro Manila Council have no authority to implement the ban as they were not authorized under the law to enact ordinances or approve resolutions. The group added that these are acts of police power that only individual local government units can exercise.

The group also said the measure was contrary to the Public Service Act which requires bus operators to maintain their own terminals as a requirement for the franchise, and that the move encroaches upon the authority of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to issue, amend and revoke certificates of public convenience to public utility vehicles.

But Nebrija stressed, the MMDA will only transfer and not abolish the provincial bus terminals on Edsa. He also added that the agency knows it has no police power that is why the resolution only urges local governments to shut down the terminals in their area.

If the policy is implemented next month, it would affect some 47 provincial bus terminals on Edsa. – Robie de Guzman

MMDA asks public to cooperate with traffic schemes for SEA Games

Robie de Guzman   •   November 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Friday called on the public to cooperate with all the traffic schemes to be implemented for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which will be held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 in various parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila.

Among the traffic schemes that the MMDA will enforce for SEA Games will be the traffic-and-go scheme along EDSA and other major thoroughfares in Metro Manila, billeting hotels, sporting venues and other areas of game engagements to allow convoys of delegates, sports officials, athletes, spectators and other guests to pass through.

In a statement, MMDA chairman Danilo Lim asked for the public’s cooperation to give way to the convoys.

“We are on track with our traffic preparations. We ask for motorists’ and commuters’ cooperation in giving way to the convoys of the athletes and delegates participating in the event our country is hosting,” Lim said.

The agency also earlier announced that no dedicated lanes will be assigned for the SEA Games delegates.

Convoy carrying delegates will use the yellow lane, flyover and underpasses while traveling along EDSA.

“Occasional traffic disruption and temporary stops are expected on roads and intersections where convoys would pass,” Lim said.

The MMDA said it will deploy 2,000 traffic personnel in key areas in the metropolis to help manage traffic flow with 122 to be deployed every 100 meters along EDSA.

“A no-day off, no absent policy will be enforced among assigned traffic enforcers from November 30 to December 11,” said Lim.

Days before the event, the MMDA said that arriving delegates will travel from the airport in Pasay City to their billeting hotels in cities of Manila, Pasig, Makati, Pasay, Mandaluyong and Quezon City in Metro Manila areas in Central and Southern Luzon; and from the airport to the regional venues in Clark, Subic, and Southern Luzon.

The SEA Games opening ceremonies will be held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on November 30, Saturday.

On this day, delegates are expected to travel from Metro Manila to Philippine Arena in the afternoon. Point-to-point buses have been designated to transport spectators and guests to the Philippine arena to avoid traffic congestion.

The MMDA and Manila District Traffic Enforcement Unit said the following roads will be closed from 12:01 am on Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

• Along Adriatico – from Pres Quirino to P. Ocampo (both bound directions)

• Along P. Ocampo – from Taft Ave. to Adriatico (westbound direction only)

Authorities advised motorists to use the following alternate routes:

• All vehicles coming from Taft Ave going westbound lane of Pres. Quirino intending to left turn Adriatico St. shall go straight to Roxas Blvd or Mabini St. to point of destination.

• All vehicles coming from Taft Ave intended to use westbound lane of P. Ocampo shall use Menlo St. then Donada to destination.

• All vehicles coming from Roxas or FB Harrison utilizing eastbound lane of P. Ocampo intending to utilize Adriatico St. shall go straight to Taft Ave to point of destination.

• All vehicles coming from Roxas or FB Harrison utilizing eastbound lane of Pres. Quirino intending to utilize Adriatico St. shall go straight to Taft Ave to point of destination.

The MMDA also advised the public to expect delays on roads toward the sports and non-sports venues within Metro Manila: Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Cuneta Astrodome, SM Mall of Asia Arena, SM MOA Skating Rink, World Trade Center, Philippine International Convention Center Forum, SM Megamall, Filoil Flying V Centre, Filinvest City, University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Gym, Marine Corps, Muntinlupa Sports Complex, Starmall EDSA, Makati Coliseum, Manila Hotel tent, SM Megamall Ice Rink, World Trade Center, Philsports Arena, Amoranto Sports Complex,  and Manila Polo Club.

The closing ceremonies of SEA Games will be held at the Athletics Stadium at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

MMDA supports ban on vape

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 22, 2019

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced their support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s ban on vaping in public places.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim encourages the public to adhere to the President’s order. He also said that the said order aims to protect the public’s health.

“I agree with the statement of the President that vaping poses harmful effects to human health. Hence, I support the regulation of vaping for the sake of the general public,” he said.

Meanwhile, Director of the MMDA Health and Environmental Protection Office (HEPO) Dr. Loida Alzona said the MMDA’s environmental enforcers will strictly monitor the selling, advertising and promotion of cigarettes and other tobacco products within 100-meter perimeter of schools in Metro Manila.

“We will help make sure that no vape shops are established within 100-perimeter of public and private schools in the metropolis,” she said.—AAC

MMDA holds dry run of SEA Games traffic plan

Robie de Guzman   •   November 14, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Thursday afternoon held a dry run of the stop-and-go scheme along major roads in Metro Manila for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

The MMDA conducted the traffic simulation exercise along EDSA, Quezon Avenue, Roxas Boulevard, España Boulevard, Roxas Boulevard, Gil Puyat Avenue, Macapagal Boulevard and North Luzon Expressway from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The agency earlier said that the stop-and-go scheme aims to facilitate the fast movement of delegates and convoys of vehicles to and from venues of sporting events.

The MMDA said there is no designated or special lane for the convoy, but the yellow lane along EDSA will be made available for SEA Games delegates when they pass through major thoroughfares.

According to MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago, the dry run went well except for some private vehicles that tried to ply the yellow lane during the simulation.

“So, naging problema po natin dito, y’ong mga private vehicles na nakikipagsiksikan din ho sa yellow lane which is nauna na ho nating naging advisory na ang yellow lane po ay ima-maximize para ho sa ating mga convoys,” she said.

This year’s SEA Games will open on November 30 in Bulacan and will close in the New Clark City in Tarlac on December 11.

Around 12,000 athletes and their coaches, 1,000 international media members, 15,000 volunteers, and spectators, among others are expected to participate and watch the games.

It features 56 sports and 530 events in 44 venues. Although these events will be conducted in various parts of Luzon, a bulk of these tournaments will be held in Metro Manila.

Most of the delegates are expected to be billeted in 22 hotels around the metropolis.

Pialago warned motorists to expect delays in traffic in some of the main thoroughfares in Metro Manila during the event.

She also assured that additional traffic law enforcers will be deployed to man chokepoints in Metro Manila.

The agency earlier recommended the suspension of classes in some schools and universities around the venues of sporting events in Metro Manila.

The De La Salle University in Manila and La Salle Benilde have earlier announced the suspension of classes and work from December 2 to 7 in line with the SEA Games while other schools have yet to make any announcement. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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