Modified number coding scheme to take effect in Metro Manila on June 8 – MMDA

Robie de Guzman   •   June 4, 2020   •   1150

MANILA, Philippines – A modified number coding scheme with exemptions will be implemented in Metro Manila starting Monday, June 8, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced Thursday.

In an advisory, the MMDA said the modified number coding scheme will take effect next week after it was approved by the Metro Manila Council in an online meeting held on May 26.

Based on MMDA Regulation 2020-001 series of 2020, the following vehicles are automatically exempted from the modified number coding scheme:

  • Private vehicles with two or more passengers including the driver, provided that physical distancing is strictly observed and all passengers are wearing face masks
  • Private vehicles driven by doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel
  • All Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR), as specified on the latest guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force.

Operators of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) are required to put signage so they could easily be recognized as ride-hailing services, the MMDA said.

The agency earlier expressed hope that exempting the medical frontliners from the modified number coding scheme provides them ease and convenience to their daily transport.

Public transport operations resumed at reduced capacity on June 1 when Metro Manila and other areas shifted to general community quarantine after more than two months on enhanced community quarantine.

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.

Religious gatherings up to 10% of venue capacity to be allowed in GCQ areas after July 10 – IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Friday announced that religious gatherings involving attendees of up to 10% of the venue capacity will soon be allowed in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this is based on the latest resolution approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases following calls for the partial reopening of places of worship.

Roque said the new policy will take effect next Friday, July 10.

“Magkakaroon muna po tayo ng dry run na 10% itong darating na linggo, pero yung 10% po na allowed na ang lahat ay magsisimula po ng July 10,” he said in a televised press briefing.

The Palace official stressed that public health standards such as physical distancing, wearing of face mask, disinfection and hand hygiene, should be strictly followed.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier announced that the following areas will be under GCQ from July 1 to July 15:

  • National Capital Region
  • Cavite
  • Benguet
  • Rizal
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Talisay City
  • Towns of Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu Province
  • Leyte
  • Ormoc
  • Southern Leyte

Roque also announced that operation of travel agencies in GCQ areas will also be allowed but only limited to a skeleton workforce.

The Department of Trade and Industry will also release a set of guidelines on additional services that will be allowed in salons and barbershops.

The latest IATF resolution also states that practice and conditioning sessions for professional basketball and football teams will also be permitted.

Roque said the move comes after a joint administrative order was signed between the Philippine Sports Commission, Games and Amusements Board, and the Department of Health to allow limited physical activities amid the community quarantine. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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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