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

Robie de Guzman   •   March 4, 2019   •   2032

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

MMDA closes 2 southbound lanes of EDSA-Balintawak; heavy traffic seen

Maris Federez   •   February 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has effected the closure of two southbound lanes of EDSA in Balintawak, Quezon City.

This is to give way to the construction of the Skyway Stage 3 Project – an elevated 14.82-kilometer expressway that stretches from Buendia in Makati City to Balintawak.

The project contractor on Monday (February 24) started installing the girder in the area that will serve as the foundation for the portion of the skyway.

This caused a heavy traffic build-up to early morning southbound motorists and commuters from Balintawak to Monumento area in Caloocan City.

MMDA EDSA Traffic chief Edison Bong Nebrija said they expect this scenario to take place as about 40 percent of the area will be occupied by the project.

“Traffic talaga mabigat. Na-foresee na namin yan even before the start. Ang problema kasi talaga diyan sa EDSA Balintawak na yan. Wala ka naman talagang alternate route. Malayo,” Nebrija added.

The heavy equipment that will be used in the project is also seen to cause traffic congestion in the area.

The MMDA said operation of the heavy equipment may start from 11 o’clock in the evening to 4:00 o’clock in the morning.

The agency, however, warns the project contractor that they will be meted out penalties if any of the heavy equipment will be seen outside of the designated area during rush hour.

“Walang maiiwang equipment outside the area that we have given them. Halimbawa may crane na silang nakalagay sa two lanes ngayon. Baka magkaroon sila ng additional equipment in building that crane. Ang sa amin lang maalis nila yan during rush hours 2 lanes lang tayo,” Nebrija said.

The said lanes will be closed for 20 days while authorities are still ascertaining the date when road closure will be implemented for the EDSA northbound lanes.

The MMDA advises motorists to look for alternative routes or plan their trip ahead to avoid the heavy traffic.

Motorists are advised to take the following alternate routes:

  1. Light vehicles going to NLEX and Monumento may take the Balintawak Interchange Ramp going to Cubao and take the U-turn slot after Cloverleaf Market going to NLEX.
  2. Light vehicles going to Novaliches and NLEX may take zipper lane at the left immediately before the construction site towards destination.
  3. Light vehicles from NLEX (going to Manila/Caloocan) may take the Balintawak Interchange Ramp going to Monumento via EDSA then left to A. De Jesus St. then left to C3 to destination. — (with details from Joan Nano) /mbmf

MMDA to implement traffic adjustments in Alabang, EDSA Balintawak starting Feb. 14

Robie de Guzman   •   February 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will implement traffic adjustments and traffic rerouting starting February 14, Friday in areas along Alabang in Muntinlupa City and Balintawak in Quezon City to give way to the ongoing construction of Skyway Extension and Skyway Stage 3 projects.

In an advisory, the MMDA said that beginning 11 p.m. Friday, one lane closure will be implemented on EDSA Balintawak Northbound towards North Luzon Expressway to give way to the erection of vertical bridge support under the EDSA Bridge as part of the Skyway Stage 3 project.

Light vehicles going to NLEX and Monumento are advised take the Balintawak Interchange ramp going to Cubao and take the U-turn slot after Cloverleaf Market going to NLEX.

Meanwhile, two lanes will be closed on EDSA Balintawak going to Cubao on Sunday, February 16 for the erection of interconnection flatform tower on top of EDSA Bridge.

Light vehicles coming from Monumento via EDSA before reaching Balintawak may turn right to A. de Jesus St. then left to C3 to destination.

The MMDA said the lane closures will be until March 5.

The agency also announced that starting 6 a.m. of February 16, one-way traffic scheme for southbound vehicles will be implemented in West Service Road of South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) from Alabang Hills to Alabang Zapote Road to give way to the construction of Skyway Extension from Hillsborough to Filinvest Exit.

Skyway-Hillsborough off-ramp will be closed to traffic, and Class 2 vehicles such as buses and delivery vans from Magallanes to Alabang are not allowed along the elevated Skyway.

One-way traffic will also be implemented on Northbound lane of Alabang temporary Steel Ramp from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., daily.

The MMDA said the same traffic scheme will also be implemented along Skyway from Sucat Interchange to Alabang-Zapote Road and on Southbound lane of Alabang temporary Steel Ramp daily from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. of the following day.

The agency said the construction will last for three months.

Affected vehicles northbound are advised to take the Alabang via-duct at grade level.

Further, girders will also be launched along A. Bonifacio where one lane going to NLEX will remain passable and two lanes for those going to Manila for eight nights from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on February 22 to 29.

Motorists are advised to take the following alternate routes:

1.     Light vehicles going to NLEX and Monumento may take the Balintawak Interchange ramp going to Cubao and take the U-turn slot after Cloverleaf Market going to NLEX.

2.     Light vehicles going to Novaliches and NLEX may take zipper lane at the left immediately before the construction site towards destination.

3.     Light vehicles from NLEX (going to Manila/Caloocan) may take the Balintawak Interchange Ramp going to Monumento via EDSA then left to A. De Jesus St. then left to C3 to destination.


The MMDA said the construction will last for 21 days or until March 5.

The Skyway Stage 3 is a 14.8-kilometer elevated tollway project which connects Skyway/SLEX Buendia to NLEX Balintawak while the Skyway Extension project extends the existing toll road to Susana Heights/Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway.

Both the Skyway Stage 3 and Skyway Extension Projects are part of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

Sevilla Bridge in Mandaluyong closed to traffic on February 8

Robie de Guzman   •   February 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Sevilla Bridge in Mandaluyong will be closed to vehicular traffic at 10 p.m. on Saturday, February 8, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced Friday.

In an advisory, the MMDA said this is to give way to the movement of the equipment, including barges and cranes, downstream by the contractor for the Skyway Stage 3 project.

The agency advised affected motorists to expect traffic slow down and to take alternate routes.

The bridge, which connects the cities of Mandaluyong and San Juan, will reopen on Sunday, February 9 at 5 a.m.

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