MMDA to run after errant public bus drivers

Robie de Guzman   •   November 5, 2019   •   501

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Tuesday said it will run after public utility bus (PUB) drivers who have committed hundreds of traffic violations since 2006.

MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia said they were able to account for more than 1,700 PUB drivers based on its database.

The list of names of these drivers has already been turned over to the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Garcia said that based on MMDA records, one bus driver alone has committed 533 violations, including obstruction, disregarding traffic sign, loading/unloading, yellow lane, and open door.

“I was alarmed over these erring PUB drivers, so I immediately coordinated with the LTO. We will strictly enforce Republic Act 4136 against errant drivers,” he told reporters in a briefing Tuesday.

Under RA 4136, also known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code of the Philippines, a driver who commits the same violations at least three times in a year may face automatic suspension of his/her license for at least one to two years.

The MMDA said the PNP-Highway Patrol Group Traffic Enforcement Unit will apprehend the suspended PUB drivers once the list comes out.

The LTO, for its part, assured the public that due process will be observed in dealing with these traffic law violators.

“Our aim is to instill discipline among the PUB drivers. Also, this is for the safety of passengers,” Garcia said.

He also warned bus operators against hiring PUB drivers with numerous traffic violations.

“Please exercise extra-ordinary diligence in hiring a PUB driver or else we will impound your vehicle,” he said.

The agency said it is currently scrutinizing records of public utility vehicle drivers’ traffic violations from 2018 up to present.

Copies of these records will be submitted to the LTO for proper action.

MMDA denies reports on Metro Manila reverting to MECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   July 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danny Lim has denied reports that local chief executives in the National Capital Region (NCR) have suggested to revert Metro Manila to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status.

In an interview, Lim denounced the reports as fake news saying that the Metro Manila Council of Mayors actually suggested extending the general community quarantine in NCR starting August 1. 

President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, is expected to announce the new quarantine measures on July 31 that will be implemented across the country. –MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

MMDA suspends work from July 9-10 after 4 workers contract COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Danilo Lim on Tuesday announced that work at the agency’s headquarters will be suspended from Thursday, July 9 to Friday, July to give way to the complete sanitation and disinfection of all its offices and adjacent premises.

This is after four MMDA personnel tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) when they underwent mass rapid testing and confirmatory swab test.

“Upon the recommendation of the MMDA COVID-19 Committee, we have decided to suspend the operations at all our offices for sanitation and disinfection to protect not only our personnel but also the transacting public against the virus,” Lim said in a statement.

All personnel will be allowed to go home at 2 p.m. on Wednesday as their workplaces will undergo sanitation and disinfection procedures until Sunday, July 12.

Lim said that no employee shall be allowed to enter any office during the sanitation and disinfection period.

The MMDA chief assured that the offices of those who tested positive have already been placed on lockdown and sanitized. Contact tracing has also been conducted and people who had close contact with them were ordered to strictly comply with the 14-day quarantine period and were subjected to swab tests.

“We assure the public that our offices will resume operations as soon as we have completed the sanitation and disinfection of our all offices by Monday,” Lim said.

Others employees who tested positive in the rapid test were made to undergo swab test and quarantine, according to protocol.

The MMDA has its own isolation facility to accommodate employees exposed to persons with COVID-19, tested positive on rapid test, and for those awaiting swab test results.

The 800-square meter isolation facility, located at the MMDA’s parking area, has two sections – one for suspect and probable cases.

Each section of the isolation facility has a 24-bed capacity equipped with shower rooms, comfort rooms and lavatories. The rooms are fully-air conditioned, with WI-FI connection and are regularly cleaned and sanitized. Free meals are also provided.

The MMDA’s Medical Clinic is also closely monitoring and providing guidance and assistance to employees.

Meanwhile, the MMDA said it has put in place protocols for visitors entering the building to prevent spread of COVID-19.

The agency’s guidelines state that all visitors with official business with the agency shall initially stay in the reception area for verification if the visitor will be allowed to go to the concerned office.

Strictly no personal visits are allowed for the meantime given the high risk of COVID-19 transmission at this period.

Moreover, delivery personnel shall not be allowed to go straight to the office or area of the ordering or recipient entity. All deliveries shall be transacted only at the reception lobby.

Likewise, visitors need to fill-up health declaration form with contact details for contact tracing purpose. “This pandemic is a difficult time for all of us and we must do everything we can to protect our personnel and visitors,” Lim said.

MMDA eyes closure of 15 U-turn slots on EDSA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is planning to close a total of 15 U-Turn slots on EDSA.

The plan aims to facilitate the construction of mass transport facilities in an effort to speed up traffic flow of buses on Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare. 

“We want to lessen the travel time. Kung ma-achieve natin iyan by minimizing or closing the U-turn slots on this bus way ay malaking impact iyan. Mas mabilis,” said MMDA EDSA Traffic Chief Edison Nebrija.

U-Turn slots that might be closed include: 

CALOOCAN CITY

  • De Jesus
  • Gen. Tinio
  • Malvar
  • Biglang Awa

QUEZON CITY

  • Balintawak
  • Kaingin 
  • Landers 
  • Dario Brigde
  • Walter Mart
  • Quezon City Academy
  • Trinoma
  • Timog
  • Santolan

PASAY CITY

  • EDSA-Taft
  • Heritage Hotel

Nebrija added that the project will exclusively assign the innermost lanes of EDSA for public utility buses in order to decongest traffic. 

Though MMDA expects to receive mounting complaints from commuters and operators, Nebrija said the project’s purpose is ultimately to provide convenience to the greater public. 

“Well maraming magrereklamo diyan. Baka may mag-file na naman ng TRO (Well, many will complain. Maybe another TRO will be filed),” he said.

Nonetheless, the MMDA is still open to suggestions and ideas on how improve EDSA’s busway system.  MNP (with reports from Dante Amento)

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