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

Robie de Guzman   •   May 1, 2019   •   2258

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

DPWH to conduct road repairs, reblocking from Aug. 23 to 27

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to conduct road repairs and reblocking from August 23 (Friday) to August 27 (Tuesday), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced.

In an advisory, the MMDA said the road repair will start at 11 p.m. in the following roads.

SOUTHBOUND:

  • EDSA cor. Bulacan St. to Philam (1st lane from center island)
  • EDSA from Magallanes – Baclaran Bus Stop to Magallanes – Alabang Bus Stop (outer lane)
  • EDSA Eugenio Lopez – Sct. Borromeo (desilting and construction of manhole)
  • Katipunan Ave. from after Boni Serrano Tunnel to P. Tuazon St. (truck lane)
  • Quezon City along EDSA Southbound between West Avenue and Philam Village (restoration/concreting works)

EASTBOUND:

  • Quirino Highway Theresa Heights and before Belfast (inner lane)
  • Elliptical Rd before Commonwealth Ave. (7th lane from outer sidewalk)

WESTBOUND

  • Novaliches General Luis before Oriental Tin

NORTHBOUND:

  • EDSA Main Ave. to P. Tuazon (1st lane from sidewalk)
  • C-5 Road C.P Garcia Bridge approach B
  • Taguig City fronting Palar Village 245 M before KM 17+000


Motorists are advised to avoid the said areas and use alternate routes instead.Affected roads will be fully passable by 5 a.m. on Tuesday, August 27, the MMDA said.

Marcos Bridge westbound in Marikina to close on August 26 – MMDA

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

Marcos Highway Bridge in Marikina City

MANILA, Philippines – The westbound portion of Marcos Bridge in Marikina City will be closed to motorists beginning August 26 (Monday), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on Thursday.

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said the portion of the bridge will be closed to the public at 12 noon on Monday for repair and rehabilitation works that will last for four months.

Motorists are advised to take the following alternate routes:

CUBAO TO ANTIPOLO ROUTE:

  • From Cubao, take Aurora Blvd., then right turn to Katipunan Ave., take Service Road of Libis Underpass, left turn to Boni Serrano and take FVR Road straight to Macapagal Bridge then Marcos Highway to Antipolo;
  • From Cubao, right turn to 15th Avenue then left turn to Boni Serrano, take FVR Road straight to Macapagal Bridge then Marcos Highway to Antipolo.

TRUCKS FROM CUBAO TO ANTIPOLO ROUTE:

  • From Cubao, take Aurora Blvd., then right turn to Katipunan Ave., take service road of Libis Underpass, left turn to Boni Serrano, straight to FVR Road, take Macapagal Bridge then Sumulong Highway to Antipolo.

ANTIPOLO TO CUBAO ROUTES:

  • From Antipolo, take Sumulong Highway, then A. Bonifacio Avenue, straight ahead Aurora Blvd., to Cubao;
  • From Antipolo, take Marcos Highway and right turn to Fernando Avenue, then take A. Bonifacio Ave. straight ahead Aurora Blvd. to Cubao;
  • From Antipolo, take Marcos Highway, take down ramp to Marcos Bridge Service Rd., then FVR Rd., straight ahead right turn to Katipunan Ave., left turn to Aurora Blvd., straight ahead to Cubao;
  • From Antipolo, take Marcos Highway then FVR Rd., straight ahead take Boni Serrano Ave., then right turn to 20th Ave., left turn to Aurora Blvd., to Cubao.

TRUCKS FROM ANTIPOLO TO CUBAO ROUTE:

  • From Antipolo, take Marcos Highway then FVR Rd. straight ahead, right turn to Katipunan Ave., left turn to Aurora Blvd. straight ahead to Cubao

Meanwhile, the eastbound part of the bridge, which was closed last May, is now open to vehicular traffic.

“After less than three months of repair, motorists going to Antipolo can now utilize the eastbound portion of the bridge,” Garcia said.

He also said that zipper lane will be implemented on the eastbound side for those going out of Marikina due to larger volume of vehicles especially during rush hours.

Professors fear ‘militarization’ may invite abuse vs students, teachers

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Teachers and professors in Metro Manila are opposing the proposed police and military presence in campuses across the country.

According to University of the Philippines (UP) Chancellor Mike Tan, the alleged militarization of educational institutions in the country may impact the students’ freedom of speech and may induce fear among schools.

Tan said, however, that the military and police may still decide to do some lecturing or organize fora inside campuses even in UP.

“Hahanap lang sila ng co-sponsor sa isang organisasyon ng UP, (They just need a co-sponsor from UP organizations),” Tan said.

Still, this cannot be used as avenue for government troops and police to remain inside school premises, he said.

This may lead to abuse, according to Tan, not only against students but against teachers and professors.

He cited the case of Leonardo Co, a University of the Philippines botanist who was killed in a crossfire between government troops and communist rebels in 2010.

“Medyo nakaka-disturb na bakit laging kung may UP students sa labas, ilang accounts na ang nabanggit kanina. Si Leonard Co na pinatay nga na siya ay isang professor namin. Sa Palanan[town], mga botanists na nagreresearch, mga math professors na nasa math na tutulungan ang mga teachers, hinarass din sila,” Tan argued.

(It’s quite disturbing why UP students are usually being involved. There had been several accounts cited. One of our professors here, Leonard Co, was killed. Botanists in Palanan who were doing research, math professors who were assisting the teachers, were harassed.)

“Kung kaya nilang gawin ito what more kung nakapasok sila sa campuses namin. That is our fear. Yan ang tinatawag naming militarization, (If they can do this, what more if they enter our campuses. That is our fear. That’s militarization,)” he added.

Dr. Danilo Arao, meanwhile, argued that students become activists because of their critical thinking, awareness of the issues and because they want to exercise their freedom of speech.

 “They are just using the label of communism as a convenient excuse to quell whatever critical thinking people may have here in this university as well as in other universities,” the professor said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), for its part, said they are not against student activism.

DILG Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya argued that the government is just being serious in curbing the recruitment of students or minors to join the communist CPP-NPA-NDF’s armed wing.

Nevertheless, the UP Chancellor assured that they are monitoring movements and activities of school organizations in their respective universities and they are willing to cooperate with authorities whenever necessary. – MNP (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

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