Women to get free ferry rides, Intramuros museum access on March 8

Robie de Guzman   •   March 4, 2019   •   1831

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Female passengers of Pasig River Ferry Service will be granted free rides on March 8, Friday, in line with the celebration of the National Women’s month, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on its official twitter account last Friday (March 2).

Female visitors of Casa Manila Museum, Baluarte de San Diego and Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila will also get free admission in support of the celebration, the Intramuros administration said Friday.

The National Women’s Month is celebrated every March, pursuant to Proclamation No. 227 s. of 1988. The first week of March has been declared as Women’s week and March 8 as Women’s Rights and International Day of peace, under Proclamation No. 224 s. of 1988.

According to the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the theme for this year’s celebration is “We make Change Work for Women,” which highlights the empowerment of women as active contributors to and claimholders of development.

It is also anchored on the commitment of “Malasakit at Pagbabago” (True Compassion and Real Change), the PCW said.

In celebration of the Women’s month, the PCW has been posting on its social media account several inspiring quotes from featured personalities, dubbed as “Juana Says”.

On March 4 (Monday), it featured Dr. Lucille Abad, who was conferred with the 2017 National Science Technology Week Outstanding Research and Development Award for Applied Research category.

“Scientists are gifted with great minds and women, with big hearts. My passion for science brings me closer to every Juan and Juana in need. Behind my invention is the desire to make life better for my countrymen. My latest invention, Carrageenan Plant Growth Promoter (PGP), has greatly benefited the farmers. With PGP, rice yield is increased by more than 20 percent. Truly, I am proud to say I am a scientist and a woman at that!” Abad said.

On March 3 (Sunday), the PCW quoted Mountaineer Carina Dayondon, who defied gender stereotypes by becoming the first Filipina to conquer seven highest mountains in seven continents.

“Mountaineering is a male dominated sport, because it requires physical, mental and emotional toughness. By climbing the highest point of each of the seven continents, we have proven to them that Filipinas will not get intimated and can even excel if we are given the chance and have full logistical support. We have proven this by last May 16, 2007. Together with Noelle Wenceslao and Janet Belarmino, we made a traverse on Mt. Everest and, until today, we are the only three women in the world to have ever done it, as well as a handful of men,” Dayondon said.

StartART Founder Nikki Luna was featured in Juana Says on March 2 (Saturday) for her move to develop art program for women and youth victims of human rights violations in conflict areas. She is also the founder of Power in her Story, a women-girl-child centered publishing house.

“I am an artist and I only need to be a human being to know how crucial it is to fight for the girl-child/woman who continues to be wronged by the system. Sometimes, our battles do not always need to be bloody. We do not need to guard our girls/women. We need to arm them with information, education and a strong belief that their value is and shouldn’t be validated by anyone or anything. And art happens to be an effective tool in doing this,” Luna said.

On March 1 (Friday), it featured Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, who encouraged everyone to explore a service position. Gray has been an advocate of Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and youth education even before winning the prestigious crown.

“I urge all people to explore a service position. Many people say that charity work helps others. But in my experience, I’ve found that I also help myself. If enough of us enter a service position, we will improve the lives of ourselves and those in need while setting an example to those around us. Through a collective attitude or altruistic service, we can change the Philippines,” Gray said.

The PCW has also urged all women to wear purple every Friday beginning March 1 to advance women’s rights and gender equality. The commission is also calling on the public to break gender stereotypes and stop gender-based violence against women. – Robie de Guzman

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

LIST: Weekend road repairs, reblocking in Metro Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Several roads in Metro Manila will be closed to motorists starting Friday night to give way to the scheduled weekend road repairs and reblocking, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced.

In an advisory, the MMDA said repair works on the following roads will begin at 11 p.m. (Sept. 13) until 5 a.m. (Sept. 16):

SOUTHBOUND:

  • EDSA-Bansalangin to North Avenue (U-turn), 5th lane from sidewalk
  • EDSA-Magallanes-Baclaran Bus Stop to Magallanes-Alabang Bus Stop
  • C-5 Road near Market Market Mall
  • C-5 Road in front of Palar Village in Taguig City

EASTBOUND:

  • Quirino Highway-Salvia Street to before Belfast Road (outer lane)
  • Elliptical Road after Maharlika Street (8th lane from outer sidewalk)

WESTBOUND

  • General Luis Street-Rebisco Road to SB Road


NORTHBOUND:

  • Bonifacio Ave. near Selecta Drive (1st lane from sidewalk)
  • Batasan/ San Mateo Rd. in front of Petron (1st lane from center island)
  • EDSA Main Ave. to before P. Tuazon tunnel (1st lane from the sidewalk)
  • Katipunan Avenue/C-5 Road after CP Garcia St. (truck lane)

Affected motorists are advised to avoid the said areas and use alternate routes instead.

MMDA warns public of heavier ‘ber’ months traffic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 12, 2019

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) warns the public of heavier traffic in Metro Manila during ‘ber’ months.

The MMDA expects the volume of vehicles to increase by us much as 20% in October. Based on their data, around 410,000 vehicles have been traversing EDSA in the past few days.

According to MMDA EDSA Traffic Head Bong Nebrija, this is higher than the recorded volume of vehicles in December last year.

“Halimbawa na lang kung ang isang bote ay may kapasidad na 268 [thousand] tapos lalagyan ng 410 [thousand], ay imaginin niyo na lang ang mangyayari, (For example, a bottleneck has a capacity of 268 [thousand cars] then you will place 410 [thousand]. Imagine what will happen)” he said.

MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialago assured the Mabuhay Lanes are free of obstruction.

“Iyong mga Mabuhay Lanes po namin sustained and maintained by MMDA. Okay naman po iyon, wala namang obstruction iyon na nakikita niyo 24/7, (Our Mabuhay Lanes are sustained and maintained by MMDA. [The roads] are okay, there are obstructions. You can see it 24/7)” she said.

Meanwhile, local government units (LGU) continue to conduct road clearing operations to maintain roads in the National Capital Region.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda).

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