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MMDA to close EDSA bus terminals in June

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

File photo: Authorities put up a closure sign at several bus terminals
along EDSA for violating the “nose in, nose out” policy (June 20,2018)

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) issued an advisory on Monday (March 26) announcing the impending prohibition and cancellation of business permits to all public-utility bus (PUB) terminals along EDSA.

The MMDA said the Metro Manila Council (MMC) approved the resolution which also covers other public utility vehicles (PUV).

“Our direction is to remove all bus terminals along EDSA and relocate them in the outskirts of the metro to minimize traffic congestion,” MMDA chairman Danilo Lim said in a statement.

Lim added that his agency will recommend the closure of terminals by April this year in coordination with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Meanwhile, MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia announced a dry run of the regulation after the Catholic observance of the Lenten Week to prepare bus operators as well as commuters for the official shut down by June this year.

The MMDA confirmed, likewise, that several terminals are now being constructed for relocation of provincial bus terminals servicing passengers from the south and north of Metro Manila.

These include a terminal in Valenzuela City and one in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. – Marje Pelayo

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MMDA chairman supports hazard pay for traffic enforcers

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danilo Lim said he supports the implementation of hazard pay for traffic enforcers.

Lim added the department is already providing medicines and insurance but that does not cover casual and job order traffic enforcers. He welcomes the provision of hazard pay.

“Welcome na welcome po iyan. We have made some moves before para mag-request ng hazard pay, 18 years na. Every year naman gumagawa tayo ng recommendations para maayos yan, (That is very welcome. We have made some moves before to request hazard pay, for 18 years. We make recommendations every year to sort it out),” he said.

According to a study headed by scientist Emmanuel Baja, MMDA traffic enforcers face health risks which include high blood pressure and other heart and lung complications.

Researchers found lead, a toxic chemical, in the blood of 158 MMDA personnel assigned to EDSA from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Currently, the traffic enforcers don’t have any kind of hazard pay as part of their salary. This evidenced-based research could help them ask for certain compensation from the Department of Budget and Management and local government units,” according to Baja.

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MMDA to inspect school perimeters for e-cigarettes, tobacco products

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

A man uses an E-cigarette, an electronic substitute in the form of a rod, slightly longer than a normal cigarette, in this March 5, 2013 file illustration picture taken in Paris. CREDIT: REUTERS/CHRISTIAN HARTMANN/FILES

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced that it will check the 100-meter perimeter of public and private schools for establishments that sell, advertise and promote e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The MMDA said violators will receive verbal warnings if they are found smoking within the said distance from the schools.

The initiative is part of the agency’s preparations for the opening of the school year 2019 to 2020 in June.

It also aims to raise awareness on tobacco control and promoting a safer and healthier environment.

“Health and sanitation, urban protection and pollution control are among the seven mandates of the MMDA. We are tasked to promote and safeguard the health and sanitation of Metropolitan Manila especially the youth who will become our future leaders,” MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said in a statement released on Tuesday.

A massive information drive will also be conducted by distributing leaflets to store owners, students, teachers, and public utility vehicle drivers containing the provisions of the law on access restriction and effects of smoking and cigarette smoke and conduct orientation on the dangers of smoking to high school students in public secondary schools.

“Our health environmental officers will be posting signage in public facilities to supplement these efforts,” Lim said.

The MMDA is also looking to enhance pedestrian lanes near the schools to protect crossing children and to increase visibility to drivers. /rrd 

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LTFRB taps MMDA, IACT in enforcing UV Express pick-and-drop points

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced on Monday it will work with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (IACT) in enforcing the point-to-point transport operation of UV Express Service units.

Under Memorandum Circular 2019-025, the LTFRB abolished the two-kilometer radius from UV Express units’ endpoints in which they were allowed to load and unload passengers.  

The new circular, which amended a 2009 memo, was signed by LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra on May 16.

Delgra said the new policy was actually part of a 2005 memorandum which provides the original concept of UV Express Service, allowing them to only pick-up and drop off commuters at terminals specified in their franchise.

He said the Board implemented the regulation after noting that most UV Express drivers do not use the designated terminals to load and unload passengers between their endpoints. The time used in picking up and dropping off of passengers also slows down traffic.

“If you will notice kapag may sasakay sa loob ng UV, bababa yung buong sumasakay sa isang linya ng buong UV, bababa muna bago bababalik na naman sasakay, o kaya yung bababa ay nasa likod ng driver bababa muna bubuksan yung pintuan sa likod,” he said.

But a group of UV Express drivers opposed the policy, saying this will affect their income, and add to the daily burden of passengers.

“Hindi po pwede ‘yun sa mga pasahero gawa ng hindi naman po iisa ang pupuntahan ng pasahero. Paano kung SM fairview kami? Doon lahat bababa eh dito lang ang baba ng iba sa Philcoa,” said driver Ernesto Ebio.

“’Pag umaasa kami sa pila, wala kaming kikitain, kasi yung mga pasahero na galing sa pila merong bumababa ng malapit. Kapag nagkataon na merong sasakay para ‘yun yung pinaka extra naming [kita]” said driver Cesar Lipat.

Commuters, meanwhile, expressed varying reactions on the issue.

Some said the new policy will bring inconvenience to passengers while others lauded it as point-to-point transport operation will hasten their travel.

The LTFRB has advised affected passengers to use other available modes of public transportation to reach their destination.

LTFRB Chairman Delgra said they are now coordinating with the MMDA and IACT in relation with the apprehension of drivers who will fail to comply with the new policy.

Violators will be meted out with a fine of up to P15,000 for breach of franchise; their driver’s license may also be revoked for repeated offenses. (with details from Joan Nano)

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