PHILIPPINES — Air pollution has spread across the highly urbanized Metro Manila due to high number of vehicles.
Several studies reveal that Edsa has the highest level of air pollution due to the continuous increase in the number of vehicles plying through the major thoroughfares.
This prompted a group of doctors to warn about the possible negative effects of polluted air to the health of traffic law enforcers who directly inhale smoke from vehicles.
The duty of an MMDA traffic law enforcer is usually 8- hours long, which doctors say is too dangerous to one’s health.
Dr. Paul Evangelista of the Lung Center of the Philippines says a traffic law enforcer’s exposure to road air pollution should last for only one to two hours to avoid illnesses associated with bad air quality.
For this, doctors encourage traffic enforcers to wear face mask.
“If they have no mask, within 1 to 2 hours it can already cause damage already to the lungs. But if they are wearing protective mask, it will take around days before they have inflammation in their lungs,” said Dr. Evangelista. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) admits having insufficient supply of personal protective gear for their personnel.
Meanwhile, the MMDA recommends to the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB) hastening the implementation of the jeepney modernization plan which helps control air pollution in Metro Manila.
Public safety and Environmental Protection Office director, Dr.Loida Alzoda said, “If we will follow our clean air measures indicators, not a jeepney will pass because they are emitting smoke beyond the acceptable level, and that’s because these are second hand.”
The Duterte administration is yet to have a concrete program for the planned phase out of old jeepneys, tagged as the worst smoke belchers. — UNTV News and Rescue
MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is planning to close a total of 15 U-Turn slots on EDSA.
The plan aims to facilitate the construction of mass transport facilities in an effort to speed up traffic flow of buses on Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare.
“We want to lessen the travel time. Kung ma-achieve natin iyan by minimizing or closing the U-turn slots on this bus way ay malaking impact iyan. Mas mabilis,” said MMDA EDSA Traffic Chief Edison Nebrija.
U-Turn slots that might be closed include:
Quezon City Academy
Nebrija added that the project will exclusively assign the innermost lanes of EDSA for public utility buses in order to decongest traffic.
Though MMDA expects to receive mounting complaints from commuters and operators, Nebrija said the project’s purpose is ultimately to provide convenience to the greater public.
“Well maraming magrereklamo diyan. Baka may mag-file na naman ng TRO (Well, many will complain. Maybe another TRO will be filed),” he said.
Nonetheless, the MMDA is still open to suggestions and ideas on how improve EDSA’s busway system. MNP (with reports from Dante Amento)
MANILA, Philippines — The MRT management will limit the number of trains in operation starting July 6.
This after a number of its personnel tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), bringing the total of positive cases to 127, a Department of Transportation (DOTr) advisory said.
Initial report said the 127 cases consist of 124 Sumitomo Depot personnel and 3 MRT-3 Depot personnel who will be placed under mandatory quarantine and medication.
DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said that with the guidance of the IATF-EID and upon the advice of Sumitomo-MHI, MRT-3 will be able to continue operations, with the possibility of reducing capacity or with fewer trains.
“Sumitomo requested to discuss on a day-by-day basis the level of operations that they can sustain as results of the mass swab testing continue to be released. In the meantime, Sumitomo advised that they are able to continue with operations to service MRT-3’s tens of thousands of passengers, although at a reduced level,” said Usec Batan.
“While we try to do our best to keep the same maintenance performance through this week, we would like to discuss with DOTr MRT3 office day by day, how much maintenance level we would be able to keep, in view of the number of COVID-19 infected people,” said Masanori Honda of Sumitomo.
The advisory also said that “to augment MRT-3’s further reduced capacity due to the quarantine of some of its depot personnel, DOTr will be boosting its Bus Augmentation Program and EDSA Busway service, in coordination with the DOTr Road Sector, LTFRB, and MMDA.”
“Per guidance of the IATF-EID, additional measures and precautions will be taken during MRT-3’s reduced operations, including requiring full PPE for stations and depot personnel, limiting movement of depot personnel to their immediate areas of responsibility, increased disinfection activities, and heightened monitoring and screening of symptoms among all personnel,” the advisory further read.
Meanwhile, MRT reminds the public that it will suspend operation on July 4 and 5 to give way to their rail replacement activities. —(with details from Joan Nano) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has finally given traditional jeepneys the green light to partially resume operations in Metro Manila starting Friday (July 3).
Under LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2020-026, traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJ) will be allowed in 49 selected routes in the National Capital Region (NCR) throughout implementation of the general community quarantine (GCQ).
Each unit will have a corresponding QR code on display in lieu of a special permit.
Operators are advised to secure said QR Code through the LTFRB website at www.ltfrb.gov.ph.
Only PUJS that are registered ‘roadworthy’ and with valid Personal Passenger Insurance Policy will be allowed to operate.
Likewise, no fare increase will be applied unless approved by the Board and the existing fare of P9.00 for the first four kilometers and P1.50 for succeeding kilometer(s) should be followed.
Drivers and operators are still required to comply with a series of health safety measures, such as checking of body temperature, wearing masks and gloves at all times, and operating at a maximum of 50% capacity to make sure physical distancing is observed.
A fare dropbox is encouraged to limit personal contact with passengers.
Also, passengers are required to fill out passenger contact forms for contact tracing purposes and should wear masks at all times.
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