Protected bike lanes malapit sa mga ospital sa Maynila, QC bubuksan sa Aug. 26 —DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2020   •   501

MANILA, Philippines – Inaayos na ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) ang ruta ng protected bike lanes bilang tugon sa panawagan ng health workers at iba pang mga nagta-trabaho sa mga ospital sa gitna ng COVID-19 pandemic.

Ayon sa DOTr, ang bike lanes ay malapit sa mga ospital ng Maynila at Quezon City at target itong buksan sa darating na Agosto 26.

Sinabi ni DOTr for Road Transport Assistant Secretary Steve Pastor, dalawang bike lane network ang inisyal nilang ilulunsad.

Ang isa ay ilalagay sa kahabaan ng Taft Avenue, Quirino Avenue, Babagtas sa Roxas Boulevard hanggang UN Avenue sa Maynila.

Masasakop nito ang mga frontline workers na pumapasok sa Philippine General Hospital, Manila Doctors Hospital, Manila Medical Center at Ospital ng Maynila.

Ang ikalawang ruta naman ay ilalagay sa kahabaan ng V. Luna at tatagos sa East Avenue sa Quezon City. May bike lane ring ilalagay sa Elliptical Road hanggang Araneta Avenue via Commonwealth at Quezon Avenues.

Maaaring dumaan sa rutang ito ang mga nagtatrabaho sa Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine Heart Center, Philippine Veterans Hospital at East Avenue Medical Center.

“We are establishing a protected bike lane that will connect major roads residential areas and high volume commuters areas to any major medical facilities in Manila and Quezon City as requested by our medical workers that they have access to their work and home through bikes,” ani Pastor.

Katuwang ng DOTr sa proyektong ito ang Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Ayon kay MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia, sa ngayon ay inaayos na nila ang existing bike lanes sa Roxas Boulevard upang magamit ng mga siklista.

“Nirehab po yung ating mga bike lanes na existing ng MMDA dyan sa Roxas Blvd may ruta naman po yan at yan po ginagawa na naglagay tayo ng mga bollards in coordination with local government units with Quezon City and Manila, just to connect the hospitals,” ani Garcia.

Aniya, hindi pa natatapos ang bike lanes dahil hindi pa dumarating ang mga materyales na gagamiting pangharang sa kalsada.

Kasama rin sa plano ang pagtatayo ng bike lane network na mag-uugnay sa iba’t ibang lungsod subalit mangangailangan pa ito ng karagdagang pondo mula sa Kongreso. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

DOTr moves implementation of cashless toll collections to December 1

Robie de Guzman   •   October 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday announced that the start of the implementation of full cashless transactions on expressways has been moved from November 2 to December 1.

In an advisory, the DOTr said the enforcement of the 100% cashless transaction was pushed to a later date to give more time for motorists who have yet to install radio frequency identification (RFID) stickers on their vehicles.

The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), an attached agency of the DOTr supervising toll road operations, earlier said that the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) and the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) have expressed readiness to implement cashless toll collections but have extended the installation of the RFID stickers beyond November 2.

But according to the DOTr, the deadline will no longer be extended beyond December 1.

Motorists who fail to conform to the government mandate will be apprehended and issued a citation ticket, it added.

DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Steven Pastor reminded motorists to make use of the extended deadline to have RFIDs installed in their vehicles as early as they can.

“Iwasan natin ‘yung kung kailan isang linggo na lang, tsaka tayo magmamadaling magpunta sa installation sites para magpakabit ng RFID. Now, we are extending the deadline to give further consideration. Let us use the extension wisely,” Pastor said.

The DOTr earlier issued Department Order 2020-012, which ordered the full implementation of cashless toll collections at expressways and major toll roads, in line with the government’s thrust to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and to avoid traffic congestion in toll plazas. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

MMDA closes U-turn slot on EDSA-Muñoz starting Oct. 26

Marje Pelayo   •   October 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is closing the U-turn slot near Panorama Building and Waltermart on EDSA-Muñoz starting Monday (October 26).

The closure is in line with the EDSA busway project that aims to provide faster mobility for the riding public, the agency said in an advisory.

Affected motorists are advised to take the Quezon Avenue Service Road U-turn slot (northbound) or Dario Bridge U-turn slot (southbound) as alternate route.

The agency planned to close all U-turn slots along EDSA to designate the inner lane for the smooth operation of the EDSA Busway project. 

The agency had already closed two U-turn slots situated on North Avenue near Trinoma Shopping Mall and the one in front of Quezon City Academy.

Aside from the earlier announced U-turn slots, the MMDA also plans to close other U-turn slots namely: De Jesus, Gen. Tinio, Malvar, and Biglang-Awa in Caloocan City; Balintawak, Kaingin, Landers, Dario Bridge, Walter Mart, Timog, and Santolan in Quezon City.

Image may contain: text that says 'NN MMDA Maraiponl ADVISORY OCT OCT19,2020 2020 CLOSURE OF EDSA U-TURN SLOT near Panorama Building and Waltermart Muñoz Starting October 26, 2020 atior Roosevelt日 EDSA AH26 EEEEEE Lanutan WALTERMART MUÑOZ EDSA Pan-Philippine Hwy Epifanio de los Santos Ave CLOSED U-TUR SLOT TECHNOCENTER PANORAMA Lanutan @MMDAPH @MMDA'
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MMDA spox Pialago says sorry but stands by post on detained activist Nacino

Robie de Guzman   •   October 19, 2020

MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago

MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago on Monday apologized to detained activist Reina Mae Nacino for her controversial remark about her plight and her late infant, Baby River.

Pialago drew flak over the weekend for her social media post where she urged the public to know Nacino’s story first before sympathizing with her.

In her post on Sunday, Pialago criticized Nacino’s supporters, whom she said are turning her grief and plight into a “drama serye.”

Nacino, an urban poor organizer facing charges of illegal possession of explosives and firearms, was only allowed by the court a few hours to attend the wake and burial of her three-month old infant.

Baby River died of pneumonia last Oct 9 while Reina Mae remained in detention. The infant was buried on Friday at the Manila North Cemetery, with critics blasting the strong presence of police and jail guards escorting Nacino.

Pialago apologized to those who thought her comment was insensitive to the plight of mothers who lost their child, but stressed she won’t take back her “drama serye” remark.

“When I posted drama serye, I didn’t mean na tratuhing drama yung hinagpis ni Reina it’s not that… I never meant na dapat hindi sya maghinagpis bilang isang ina. Nawalan rin ako ng mga mahal ko sa buhay, I know the feeling wag nating ilipat dun sa context na yun,” she said in an interview.

“Ang dating kasi nung iba dun sa sinabi kong drama serye wala na siyang karapatang maghinagpis kasi political prisoner siya. Ang dating wala na siyang karapatang bumisita eh binigyan nga sya ng furlough eh… nakikidalamhati kami sayo sa aspeto na yan dahil wala nang sasakit pa sa mamatayan ng anak,” she added.

She said she did not mean to attack Nacino’s grief with the loss of her baby when she used the term.

She also emphasized that the “drama serye” she was referring to were people who were “capitalizing” on Nacino’s situation to gain sympathy from the public and turn them against the government.

“Stop thinking doon sa mga hindi nakakaintindi. Stop thinking na I’m insensitive enough for them. Pero please, sana naman… Salamat doon sa mga nakakaintindi na ang pinupunto nung drama serye huwag palakihin, wag gamitin yung unfortunate situation para lang ma-highlight na mapang-api ang gobyerno,” she said.

Pialago also stressed that her comment is her own and not part of her role as MMDA’s spokesperson.

MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia echoed Pialago’s statement and assured that her opinion does not reflect the agency’s stand on the issue.

“Nagsalita siya at her own capacity, it’s not the stand of MMDA. Kung may personal opinion siya, it’s her right to say that,” Garcia said.

“I think Asec. Celine is responsible enough to handle yung ganitong klase ng mga situation,” he added.

Malacañang, meanwhile, refused to comment and would rather let Pialago handle the issue.

“Tingin ko po personal na opinion niya yan, hindi naman po kasi related sa MMDA yang issue, so hayaan po natin na magkaroon ng personal na opinion si Spokesperson Pialago,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Nacino and two others were arrested in Tondo, Manila in November 2019 for alleged illegal possession of firearms and explosives. She was one month pregnant at the time of her arrest.

She gave birth last July and was ordered separated from her baby in August despite her pleadings filed before Manila Regional Trial Court. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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