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MMDA warns of heavy traffic as Tandang Sora Flyover shuts down

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

Tandang Sora flyover

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has warned motorists of snarling traffic situations in Quezon City as it shuts down the Tandang Sora Flyover and intersection.

MMDA said the flyover along Commonwealth Avenue would be closed beginning 11 p.m. Saturday (March 2) to give way to the construction of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line 7. It was previously scheduled on February 23 but was postponed for a week as requested by the local government of Quezon City.

Based on data from the agency, more than 100,000 motorists are expected to be affected by the closure of the busy Tandang Sora flyover and intersection.

Alternate routes announced for motorists affected by the closure of Tandang Sora flyover and intersection beginning March 2, 2019. Photo from MMDA/DOTr

In light of the closure, the MMDA has bared possible alternate routes for affected motorists.

For those going to Quezon Memorial Circle, take a U-turn in front of Home Depot, turn right on Luzon Avenue and exit Congressional Extension; or turn right on Tandang Sora Avenue and U-turn on Congressional Extension.

For those coming from Fairview, turn right on Don Antonio, go through Mapayapa going to Luzon Avenue.

When going to Katipunan, motorists may turn right on Luzon Avenue, U-turn on Congressional Extension and proceed to Luzon Flyover;

They may also take a U-turn near the Technohub and turn right on Tandang Sora going to Katipunan. Motorists can also go under the Luzon Flyover; or make a U-turn on Commonwealth Avenue-Elliptical Road and turn right on University Avenue, then turn right again on C.P. Garcia exiting to Katipunan.

The U-turn slot under the Luzon Avenue flyover will also be moved to Congressional Avenue Extension before Monday, according to MMDA.

The Quezon City Department of Public Order and Safety (QC-DPOS), meanwhile, assured to open subdivision gates when necessary to address heavy traffic.

Under the MRT-7 project, the Tandang Sora flyover will be demolished for the construction of the Tandang Sora Station. It is expected to be completed in two years.

The MMDA has urged the public to cooperate and follow traffic rules for the success of the project. – Robie de Guzman

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Clogged drainage systems delay flood pumping operations — MMDA

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – It’s not yet typhoon season in the country but the prevailing rain showers and thunderstorms are already inundating most parts of Metro Manila, congesting traffic and affecting the riding public.

Personnel of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) have been busy in de-clogging drainage systems such as a retarding pond along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City.

But according to the MMDA, flooding has already become a normal scenario in most parts of Metro Manila and there is no way to stop it.

“Hindi na po kasi namin maipapangako na hindi babahain ang Metro Manila. Ang Metro Manila (ay) napakababa ng sea level natin,” explained MMDA Spokesperson and ASec. Celine Pialago.

(We cannot promise at this point that flood will be prevented in Metro Manila because Metro Manila’s sea level is low.)

“Ang kaya na lang naming gawin at iyon ang sinisikap namin, pabilisin po ang paghupa dahil tuwing may pagbaha, may pagbigat sa daloy ng trapiko, may congestion, pinagdudusahan po natin ito,” she added.

(What we can do is to try hastening the drainage of flood water because every time there is flooding, the traffic flow gets heavier then congestion follows which burdens us all.)

What concerns the MMDA most is improper waste disposal that results in the clogging of drainage which leads to severe flooding in Metro Manila.

This is why the MMDA has started de-clogging operations to clean up wastes from tributaries ahead of the typhoon season.

“Kapag napupuno ng mga basura ‘yung mga esteros natin, nagbabaha sa Metro Manila, pina-pump natin ‘ang tubig,” Pialago said.

(When esteros are filled with waste materials they cause floods in Metro Manila. What we do is, we pump out the floodwater.)

“Worst case, nasisira ang ating pumping stations (so) nagkakaroon ng delay sa operations,” she added.

(Worst case is that our pumping stations end up broken which delays our operations.)

According to barangay officials in Binondo, they regularly clean up waste materials from Estero de Magdalena every Saturday.

However, after some time they once again saw a pile of garbage in the supposedly cleaned estero.

The Pasig River Rehabilitation Center noted that up to 300,000 kilograms of garbage materials are being collected from the river every year coming from about 270 families which they need to relocate.

Some families have volunteered to leave the place but ended up returning because it is closer to their sources of livelihood.

Some of them travel on a weekly basis.

“Walang hanap-buhay doon sa Cavite (There’s no employment in Cavite),” said Ester Galarosa whose family has been relocated in Cavite.

She said she returns to Manila to vend.

“Bumabalik talaga kami para naman kahit paano makaraos man lang sa pagkain namin araw-araw (We return (to the city) to support our needs, so we could look for food to eat),” explained Fredo Peñano, also relocated in Cavite.

The MMDA assured that they regularly do de-clogging operations in different parts of Metro Manila in order to fast track the pumping of floodwater and prevent inconveniences. – (with details from Harlene Delgado)

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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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