Onset of rainy season likely second week of June —PAGASA

Marje Pelayo   •   May 24, 2019   •   1675

Courtesy : pixabay

MANILA, Philippines – Despite consecutive days of rain, state weather bureau PAGASA said it is not time yet to declare the onset of the rainy season.

PAGASA explained it is expecting the arrival of the southwest monsoon or habagat in the second week of June.

That is the time when PAGASA most likely will declare the official start of the rainy season.

“Itong mga pag-ulan natin sa hapon hanggang sa madaling araw indikasyon naman ito na papalapit na talaga tayo sa tagulan o yung tinatawag na transition period or yung pagitan ng tagaraw at saka tagulan,” PAGASA Weather Specialist Benezon Estareja said.

(These afternoon rain showers up to early dawn are indications that we are nearing the rainy season. We are in what we call the transition period or the season in between dry and rainy seasons.)

In line with this, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has started de-clogging esteros to prevent extreme flooding in major cities in Metro Manila.

Aside from the drainage along East Avenue in Quezon City, the MMDA also checked on drainage along Araneta Avenue which heavily submerges in floodwater every time the San Juan river overflows its banks.

“Kasama iyan sa World Bank Project, iyong construction ng dike diyan tapos construction ng additional pumping stations,” explained MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office Director Baltazar Melgar.

Baltazar assured that all 62 pumping stations in Metro Manila are set to drain floodwater when heavy rains pour.

The Department of Agriculture (DA), meanwhile, is also preparing programs to assist farmers who will be affected by the rainy season.

“Naka-preposition na ang mga binhi natin (at) ready for release. In fact, ang iba (ay) naka-release na nga ng mga binhi,” Secretary Manny Piñol said.

According to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), around 200,000 hectares of farmland in the country await cropping season in June which is expected to increase further to 800,000 hectares in the coming months. —(with details from Rey Pelayo) Marje Pelayo

Monsoon rains to prevail over parts of Luzon, Visayas as PAGASA monitors two LPAs

Marje Pelayo   •   September 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – State weather service PAGASA is monitoring two low pressure areas (LPAs) inside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) while the southwest monsoon is affecting parts of Luzon and Visayas.

According to PAGASA’s 4:00 AM bulletin, the LPA was observed at 715km East of Basco, Batanes while another LPA was located at 130km West Southwest of Iba, Zambales.

For Tuesday (September 17), PAGASA said monsoon rains will prevail over Metro Manila, Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Palawan, and Mindoro Provinces.

Flashfloods in low lying areas and landslides in mountainous areas are highly possible thus residents are advised to take precautionary measures.

Meanwhile, cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms will be experienced in Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and the rest of Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and MIMAROPA also due to the effects of the southwest monsoon.

The trough of the LPA will bring cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms in Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Ilocos Region.

Meanwhile, Mindanao and the rest of Visayas will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to localized thunderstorms.

Mass transport highway, express bus lane: proposed to solve EDSA traffic

Maris Federez   •   September 16, 2019

A lawmaker in the Lower House has proposed to dedicate an express bus lane, while another suggested reserving certain hours for mass transportations only along EDSA to solve the perennial traffic in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare.

According to the data of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the average vehicular volume on EDSA is more than 400,000 every day and it is expected to increase further by 15 to 20% these BER-months.

House Committee on Transportation chairman Edgar Sarmiento suggested dedicating the innermost lane of EDSA as an express bus lane for those who will ride the MRT.

Three lanes will be allocated to private vehicles, while the outer lane will be for passenger buses that will stop in designated loading and unloading areas only.

These buses will be allowed to queue in for pick up and drop off of Metro Manila-bound passengers at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and the Valenzuela Gateway Complex Terminal.

Sarmiento said this scheme will prevent bus drivers from over-speeding and from overstaying in loading and unloading areas and cause traffic congestion.

“We propose this to eradicate the kanya-kanya system of the buses wherein they compete with each other creating chaos through overtaking, overspeeding, and overstaying,” Sarmiento said.

Meanwhile, Caloocan representative Edgar Erice has proposed the dedication of mass transport highway which aimed at giving priorities to public commuters.

Under his proposal, private vehicles will be off-limit along EDSA on certain hours every day.

“Dapat yung limang lanes ng EDSA from 6 to 9am at 6 to 9pm dedicated lang sa mga public utility vehicles [The five lanes on EDSA shall be dedicated only to public utility vehicles from 6:00 to 9:00am and at 6:00 to 9:00pm],” he stated.

With the 6-to-9-scheme, private car owners will have the option to use alternative roads, leave the house earlier than usual, take the bus, or take EDSA only after 9 o’clock.

The MMDA said it welcomes the said proposals.

“Ito yung pro commuter talaga; para sa mga ordinaryo nating mamamayan na mas mapabilis yung byahe nila. Ngayon, pagdating sa private may mga alternatibo naman sabi nga ni Cong Erice [This is really pro-commuter; for the ordinary people to have faster travel experience. Now, when it comes to private (car owners), there are alternatives as what Cong. Erice said],” according to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.

These suggestions, as well as the others, will go thru the MMDA’s engineering team for further study and screening for the selection of the feasible solutions for EDSA traffic.

The selected suggestions will be submitted to the Metro Manila Council meeting in October. (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf

Monsoon rains affect parts of Luzon, Visayas as PAGASA monitors new LPA outside PAR

Marje Pelayo   •   September 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The southwest monsoon or habagat will affect parts of Luzon and Visayas on Monday (September 16), according to the state weather service PAGASA.

As of 4:00 a.m. today, PAGASA forecasted cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms over Metro Manila, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA and Western Visayas.

Likewise, partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to localized thunderstorms will affect rest of the country.

Meanwhile, an active tropical cyclone is being monitored by PAGASA outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

It is located at 2,565km east of Northern Luzon, packed with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h and gustiness of up to 99 km/h. It is moving northwest at 30 km/p.

However, the weather system is unlikely to enter PAR, according to PAGASA.

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