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

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, March 4th, 2019

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

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MMDA lifts number coding for Lenten break

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, April 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has suspended the number coding scheme from April 17 to 22 for the observance of the Lenten season.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim announced this on his Facebook post.

“Ngayong holy week, suspendido ang number coding scheme sa mga sumusunod na araw. Mag-ingat sa byahe at sana’y maging mapayapa ang inyong paggunita ng Semana Santa ngayong taon [The number coding scheme will be suspended in the following days, this week. Be safe in observing the Lenten week],” Lim said.

ADVISORY: Ngayong Holy Week, suspendido ang number coding scheme sa mga sumusunod na araw. Mag-ingat sa byahe at sana’y maging mapayapa ang inyong paggunita ng Semana Santa ngayong taon.

Posted by General Danny Lim on Sunday, 14 April 2019

According to MMDA Edsa Traffic Chief Bong Nebrija, the number coding scheme was suspended in the said dates in anticipation of the surge of travelers for this season, which is expected to begin on April 17 (Wednesday).

The MMDA will also remain on alert on April 22 (Monday) when passengers travel back to Metro Manila from their respective provinces. – Robie de Guzman

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MMDA traffic czar on enforcer in viral video: That’s grave threat

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2019

An MMDA enforcer is seen threatening a motorcycle rider for recording their a;altercation.

MANILA, Philippines — A video went viral on Facebook when a Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic enforcer took the key of a motorcycle rider.

In the said video, the said enforcer is seen threatening the motorist for taking a video of their road altercation.

“Bakit mo kinuha ang susi ko? Ano violation ko? (Why did you take my key? What is my violation?),” the rider asked after the traffic enforcer took his key and crossed the street.

The enforcer can be heard shouting back at the rider, “Mag-video ka, mag-video ka. Sasapakin kita, gusto mo magsuntukan tayo? (Go ahead and take a video. I will punch you, do you want to fight?).”

According to MMDA traffic czar Edison ‘Bong’ Nebrija, what the enforcer did was grave threat. Enforcers are also not allowed to take the key of motorists unless it is absolutely necessary.

“Hindi po allowed iyan, (That is not allowed) unless there is an intention to flee. But then again in this case, judgement call siguro ng enforcer na kunin ang susi. Maybe he deems na iyong motorista baka tatakbo. But nonetheless hindi po iyan SOP [Standard Operational Procedure], (it might have been the judgement call of the enforcer to take the key. Maybe he thinks the motorist will flee. But nonetheless, that is not SOP)” he said during an interview on UNTV’s Good Morning Kuya on Monday.

Nebrija reiterates that all traffic enforcers and tow truck operators are not allowed to climb into a motorist’s vehicle and take anything that belongs to the motorist.

He also said that they tracked down the location of the incident in Parañaque. With the help of the traffic head of Parañaque, Teddy Barandino, they were able to identify the traffic enforcer. Authorities will investigate the incident.

Meanwhile, motorists and traffic enforcers alike are encouraged to take videos during road altercations to help with the documentation of the incident. However, Nebrija added that both parties should not harass each other.

“We encourage that, na videohan ang mga enforcer namin (We encourage to take videos of our enforcers) , [but] not to the point na you will be harassing or you will be disrupting the apprehension itself,” he said.

Nebrija advise the motorists to also file formal complaints at their office aside from posting videos on Facebook.

“That’s the only way to make the due process complete or start the due process and eventually dismiss the enforcer,” he said.

For traffic enforcers, Nebrija reminds them to always be on top of the situation and never lose their temper.

“They should prevail as the cooler head in the altercation,” Nebrija said.—Aileen Cerrudo

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MMDA to implement No Window Hours in Metro; to remove provincial bus terminals in EDSA

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Friday, March 29th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to unify the No Window Hours policies of the different cities in Metro Manila.

This, after Metro Manila mayors agreed on its uniform implementation to prevent confusion among motorists.

MMDA General Manager Jose Arthuro Garcia said, “Kasi diba may lumabas na per city may window. Pagtawid mo may window na naman, nagkakagulo, nagagalit ang tao nalilito. That’s why we requested na baka puwede standard na tayo wala nang may window (Each city has its own window [hours]. It confuses people. That’s why we requested to make it standard, no more window [hours]).”

This means that vehicles covered by a day’s number coding will no longer be allowed on EDSA and other major thoroughfares in the metro, from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.

The MMDA is quick to add, however, that this does not cover the cities where there is no number coding scheme; such as, Navotas, Pateros, Marikina, Taguig and Muntinlupa.

This, however, has to wait until ordinances regarding window hours in all cities are revised and updated.

Meanwhile, the MMDA is also set to remove the terminals of provincial buses in Metro Manila.

These terminals will be transferred to the Valenzuela and Sta. Rosa, Laguna interim terminals, as well as to the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).

“Ang target natin dyan by June dapat wala na yan [We target to remove them by June] not only in EDSA but the whole Metro Manila,” Garcia added.

First to go are the provincial bus terminals along EDSA.

For its part, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will start the processing of the franchises of Metro city buses that will ferry passengers to and fro the interim terminals.

The MMDA will conduct the necessary dry run to help the buses and passengers get used to the new system, before its actual implementation.  – Maris Federez (with reports from Joan Nano)

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