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MMDA willing to amend HOV scheme amid calls for suspension

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) targets to fully implement the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Policy along EDSA on August 23 amid mounting calls to suspend its implementation even from among lawmakers.

Buhay Partylist Representative Lito Atienza said, the MMDA should think of other ways to address the worsening traffic in the said major thoroughfare instead of implementing policies that would only burden the public more.

Some senators have earlier filed a resolution urging the agency to halt the policy’s enforcement, citing lack of public consultation and concerns on its efficacy.

The MMDA, in response, assures compliance if it receives an official order to suspend the scheme.

“Walang problema po. Susunod po kami kung ano po ang sinasabi sa batas. Sa amin po kung iyan ay dadalhin nila sa korte, siyempre sa stand namin kami ang tama. Sa stand nila, pwedeng sila ang tama. It’s not us to judge kung sino ang tama sa amin,” MMDA General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia.

Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Thursday also assured that the MMDA is open to amending the HOV traffic scheme, citing confirmation from MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim that feedback from the public on the new policy will be reviewed by the Metro Manila Council.

Go said he trusts that all 17 mayors in Metro Manila will be able to arrive at an acceptable decision on the HOV.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, meanwhile, said the Palace is appealing to the public to give the HOV policy a chance to see if it is effective in addressing heavy traffic on EDSA.

“Let’s give it a chance. Lahat naman po ini-explore natin para magkaroon ng solusyon sa problema ng traffic,” he said.

GRAB Philippines, meanwhile, plans to set a dialogue with the MMDA to clarify the policy’s provisions. – Joan Nano / Marje Pelayo

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PNP nabs traffic constable over extortion activity in QC

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

 

The arrest of traffic constable Jose Edu Badal for extortion | Image courtesy to PNP-CITF

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – A traffic constable of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) was arrested after he was caught extorting P2,000 from his supposed victim along Commonwealth Avenue.

According to Commander Romeo Caramat Jr. of the Philippine National Police Counter-Intelligence Task Force (PNP-CITF), the suspect identified as Jose Edu Badal was caught in the act of accepting P1,000 from the victim inside a fast food chain in Tandang Sora.

Caramat said it was the suspect who initiated the offer to settle the victim’s violation of driving without a helmet .

“Initially ay humihingi siya ng P2,000 pero nagka aregluhan sila P1,000.  So yun, ginawa natin yung entrapment operation,” said Caramat.

Caramat calls on all of his men to do well in their job especially during Undas when people are expected to flock to cemeteries.

Badal argued that the victim committed multiple violations such as unregistered vehicle and driving without a helmet.

He said he was tempted to accept the money thinking of his sick child.

“Iyong driver din naman po ang nakikiusap. Maging aral po sana at huwag na po nilang gawin iyon. Ako lang talaga ang inaasahan sa amin,” Badal said.

Badal will face charges of robbery extortion because of the incident. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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Traffic enforcer caught sniffing shabu inside MMDA toilet

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, September 21st, 2018

The alleged shabu-sniffing traffic enforcer (blurred) at the police station

 

MAKATI CITY, Philippines – A traffic enforcer was arrested after he was caught sniffing shabu inside the lavatory of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) office.

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said they received a report from another employee who saw Aluyen in the act of using illegal drugs.

“May pinapunta akong mga tao. May Intelligence Department kami dito. Mag-isa raw siya. Ang hirap kausap kahit anong imbestiga ang gawin ko. Ang hirap pala kausap ng may tama,” Garcia said during a press briefing on Thursday (September 20).

The enforcer was identified as Rommel Aluyen who has been with the agency for 15 years prior to the arrest.

Garcia already recommended to MMDA Chairman Danny Lim the dismissal of Aluyen and the filing of administrative charges against him. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)

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Metro Mayors agree on resumption of HOV scheme in EDSA

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, August 24th, 2018

MANDALUYONG CITY, Philippines – The Metro Manila Council (MMC) has decided for another dry run of the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) scheme in EDSA.

The decision is to give more time for the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the local government units (LGU) to observe if the measure is effective or not.

The proposal was halted following a resolution filed by Senate President Tito Sotto and other senators opposing the HOV scheme.

The Council of Mayors is encouraging the senators and the congressmen to experience for themselves the impact of the scheme to traffic situations in Metro Manila and of other programs that the MMDA is implementing such as the transfer of locations of provincial buses, carpooling, the motorcycle lane, new infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) among others.

 “Kung kayo po tama ang gagawin niyo at sumusunod kayo sa batas trapiko hindi ho kayo matatakot sa mga traffic fines,” MMDA General Manager Jose Garcia said.

Garcia said they are open to suggestions and criticisms because such would help them improve the scheme. He asked for understanding from the public if the dry run has caused inconvenience as they are aiming at a long-term solution to Metro Manila’s worst traffic problem.

Meanwhile, the Council is contemplating on imposing higher fines of up to P10,000 on buses going beyond the yellow lane. Also, the group plans to regulate the number of buses the operators may use in a month to three to five units only.

Once the dry run kicks off, private cars with only a driver on board will be barred from EDSA from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Offenders will pay a fine of P1,000.

The MMDA said the dry run covers both south bound and north bound lane of EDSA from North Avenue in Quezon City to Magallanes in Makati City.

Meanwhile, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said the local governments of San Juan, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati, and Taguig are also studying the the impact of the scheme in their respective areas.

The results of the dry run from the five municipalities will be consolidated in a report which will be presented to the lawmakers and the executive department. – Cathy Maglalang / Marje Pelayo

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