MMDA tells public: Prepare for 4 a.m. Metro-wide quake Drill on July 27
Robie de Guzman • July 26, 2019 • 2093
MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has called on the public to join and prepare for the fifth Metro Manila Shake Drill slated on Saturday, July 27.
The metro-wide earthquake drill will take place during the early hours of Saturday, starting at 4 a.m., to be signaled by the sound of sirens and alarms.
Mobile phone alerts will also be sent by telecommunication companies and the Department of Communications Technology to signal the start of the simulation.
“(MMDA) Chairman (Danilo) Lim asked the concerned agencies to provide their broadcast/push messaging service for mobile device users as well as via emergency cell broadcast before the start of the actual drill,” said Michael Salalima, chief of staff of the MMDA Office of the General Manager and Focal for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management.
The MMDA called on the public to perform the “drop, cover and hold” exercise when alarms are heard.
The agency also urged government and private organizations to inform the public of the drill and its conduct, as well as participate in the exercise to test their preparedness, contingency and continuity plans in the event of a major earthquake hitting Metro Manila.
“This will not be a question of whether how many participated. The very measure of a successful staging of this shake drill is how the people understood its importance,” said Salalima.
He added that during the drill, critical scenarios such as evacuation, fire control and emergency medical response will be simulated to see how rescue teams will respond to such challenges.
“After the drill, we shall identify strengths and weaknesses, gaps and interventions to plug flaws and improve plans with the help of evaluators,” said Salalima.
Salalima is confident that many would participate in the early morning drill.
“No one can predict when an earthquake would happen but the chances of survival are better when people are prepared and know what to do when a strong tremor happens,” he said.
A lawmaker in the Lower House has proposed to dedicate an express bus lane, while another suggested reserving certain hours for mass transportations only along EDSA to solve the perennial traffic in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare.
According to the data of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the average vehicular volume on EDSA is more than 400,000 every day and it is expected to increase further by 15 to 20% these BER-months.
House Committee on Transportation chairman Edgar Sarmiento suggested dedicating the innermost lane of EDSA as an express bus lane for those who will ride the MRT.
Three lanes will be allocated to private vehicles, while the outer lane will be for passenger buses that will stop in designated loading and unloading areas only.
These buses will be allowed to queue in for pick up and drop off of Metro Manila-bound passengers at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and the Valenzuela Gateway Complex Terminal.
Sarmiento said this scheme will prevent bus drivers from over-speeding and from overstaying in loading and unloading areas and cause traffic congestion.
“We propose this to eradicate the kanya-kanya system of the buses wherein they compete with each other creating chaos through overtaking, overspeeding, and overstaying,” Sarmiento said.
Meanwhile, Caloocan representative Edgar Erice has proposed the dedication of mass transport highway which aimed at giving priorities to public commuters.
Under his proposal, private vehicles will be off-limit along EDSA on certain hours every day.
“Dapat yung limang lanes ng EDSA from 6 to 9am at 6 to 9pm dedicated lang sa mga public utility vehicles [The five lanes on EDSA shall be dedicated only to public utility vehicles from 6:00 to 9:00am and at 6:00 to 9:00pm],” he stated.
With the 6-to-9-scheme, private car owners will have the option to use alternative roads, leave the house earlier than usual, take the bus, or take EDSA only after 9 o’clock.
The MMDA said it welcomes the said proposals.
“Ito yung pro commuter talaga; para sa mga ordinaryo nating mamamayan na mas mapabilis yung byahe nila. Ngayon, pagdating sa private may mga alternatibo naman sabi nga ni Cong Erice [This is really pro-commuter; for the ordinary people to have faster travel experience. Now, when it comes to private (car owners), there are alternatives as what Cong. Erice said],” according to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.
These suggestions, as well as the others, will go thru the MMDA’s engineering team for further study and screening for the selection of the feasible solutions for EDSA traffic.
The selected suggestions will be submitted to the Metro Manila Council meeting in October. (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – Several roads in Metro Manila will be closed to motorists starting Friday night to give way to the scheduled weekend road repairs and reblocking, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced.
In an advisory, the MMDA said repair works on the following roads will begin at 11 p.m. (Sept. 13) until 5 a.m. (Sept. 16):
EDSA-Bansalangin to North Avenue (U-turn), 5th lane from sidewalk
EDSA-Magallanes-Baclaran Bus Stop to Magallanes-Alabang Bus Stop
C-5 Road near Market Market Mall
C-5 Road in front of Palar Village in Taguig City
Quirino Highway-Salvia Street to before Belfast Road (outer lane)
Elliptical Road after Maharlika Street (8th lane from outer sidewalk)
General Luis Street-Rebisco Road to SB Road
Bonifacio Ave. near Selecta Drive (1st lane from sidewalk)
Batasan/ San Mateo Rd. in front of Petron (1st lane from center island)
EDSA Main Ave. to before P. Tuazon tunnel (1st lane from the sidewalk)
Katipunan Avenue/C-5 Road after CP Garcia St. (truck lane)
Affected motorists are advised to avoid the said areas and use alternate routes instead.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) warns the public of heavier traffic in Metro Manila during ‘ber’ months.
The MMDA expects the volume of vehicles to increase by us much as 20% in October. Based on their data, around 410,000 vehicles have been traversing EDSA in the past few days.
According to MMDA EDSA Traffic Head Bong Nebrija, this is higher than the recorded volume of vehicles in December last year.
“Halimbawa na lang kung ang isang bote ay may kapasidad na 268 [thousand] tapos lalagyan ng 410 [thousand], ay imaginin niyo na lang ang mangyayari, (For example, a bottleneck has a capacity of 268 [thousand cars] then you will place 410 [thousand]. Imagine what will happen)” he said.
MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialago assured the Mabuhay Lanes are free of obstruction.
“Iyong mga Mabuhay Lanes po namin sustained and maintained by MMDA. Okay naman po iyon, wala namang obstruction iyon na nakikita niyo 24/7, (Our Mabuhay Lanes are sustained and maintained by MMDA. [The roads] are okay, there are obstructions. You can see it 24/7)” she said.
Meanwhile, local government units (LGU) continue to conduct road clearing operations to maintain roads in the National Capital Region.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda).
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