MMDA supports ban on vape

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 22, 2019   •   402

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

Duterte issues EO imposing medicine price cap

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 18, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order that will impose price cap on medicines.

Based on Executive Order (EO) 104 or Maximum Drug Retail Price (MDRP) price regulations will be imposed through a maximum retail price (MRP) and maximum wholesale price (MWP) system.

“Access to affordable and quality drugs and medicines is now a reality under the Duterte administration. This is part of the real and lasting reform, which President Duterte has instituted in order that all Filipinos can live decent and comfortable lives,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

The EO is expected to lower the cost of medicines as much as 56 percent by May. In the first phase of MDRP, 87 medicines for hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung diseases, major cancers, and other diseases have been included.

The Department of Health (DOH) has proposed 122 medicines and is reviewing to include more.

“DOH, together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and stakeholders, was also tasked to review the price reduction of the remaining 35 drugs to finalize the list covered by the EO,” according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The DOH is set to release the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the said EO.

Duque also warned pharmaceutical companies or drug stores not abiding by the EO may face up to 15 years of imprisonment.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Duterte inaugurates Sangley Airport in Cavite

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte inaugurated the Sangley Airport in Cavite on Saturday (February 15) which aims to ease the air traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The Sangley Airport Development Project is under the Duterte Administration’s Build Build Build Program. Small commercial flights and light cargo aircraft are already operational since Saturday.

In his speech, President Duterte commended Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade for successfully completing the development project.

The President also said he will use Sangley Airport when he goes back to Davao after finishing his term.

“I will take my last flight as President to Davao. I will use this airport,” he said.

Once the project is completed, Sangley Airport will have four operational runways and a terminal which can accommodate 100 million passengers every year.—AAC (with reports from Benedict Samson)

MMDA to implement traffic adjustments in Alabang, EDSA Balintawak starting Feb. 14

Robie de Guzman   •   February 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will implement traffic adjustments and traffic rerouting starting February 14, Friday in areas along Alabang in Muntinlupa City and Balintawak in Quezon City to give way to the ongoing construction of Skyway Extension and Skyway Stage 3 projects.

In an advisory, the MMDA said that beginning 11 p.m. Friday, one lane closure will be implemented on EDSA Balintawak Northbound towards North Luzon Expressway to give way to the erection of vertical bridge support under the EDSA Bridge as part of the Skyway Stage 3 project.

Light vehicles going to NLEX and Monumento are advised take the Balintawak Interchange ramp going to Cubao and take the U-turn slot after Cloverleaf Market going to NLEX.

Meanwhile, two lanes will be closed on EDSA Balintawak going to Cubao on Sunday, February 16 for the erection of interconnection flatform tower on top of EDSA Bridge.

Light vehicles coming from Monumento via EDSA before reaching Balintawak may turn right to A. de Jesus St. then left to C3 to destination.

The MMDA said the lane closures will be until March 5.

The agency also announced that starting 6 a.m. of February 16, one-way traffic scheme for southbound vehicles will be implemented in West Service Road of South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) from Alabang Hills to Alabang Zapote Road to give way to the construction of Skyway Extension from Hillsborough to Filinvest Exit.

Skyway-Hillsborough off-ramp will be closed to traffic, and Class 2 vehicles such as buses and delivery vans from Magallanes to Alabang are not allowed along the elevated Skyway.

One-way traffic will also be implemented on Northbound lane of Alabang temporary Steel Ramp from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., daily.

The MMDA said the same traffic scheme will also be implemented along Skyway from Sucat Interchange to Alabang-Zapote Road and on Southbound lane of Alabang temporary Steel Ramp daily from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. of the following day.

The agency said the construction will last for three months.

Affected vehicles northbound are advised to take the Alabang via-duct at grade level.

Further, girders will also be launched along A. Bonifacio where one lane going to NLEX will remain passable and two lanes for those going to Manila for eight nights from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on February 22 to 29.

Motorists are advised to take the following alternate routes:

1.     Light vehicles going to NLEX and Monumento may take the Balintawak Interchange ramp going to Cubao and take the U-turn slot after Cloverleaf Market going to NLEX.

2.     Light vehicles going to Novaliches and NLEX may take zipper lane at the left immediately before the construction site towards destination.

3.     Light vehicles from NLEX (going to Manila/Caloocan) may take the Balintawak Interchange Ramp going to Monumento via EDSA then left to A. De Jesus St. then left to C3 to destination.


The MMDA said the construction will last for 21 days or until March 5.

The Skyway Stage 3 is a 14.8-kilometer elevated tollway project which connects Skyway/SLEX Buendia to NLEX Balintawak while the Skyway Extension project extends the existing toll road to Susana Heights/Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway.

Both the Skyway Stage 3 and Skyway Extension Projects are part of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

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