Mabigat na trapiko, naranasan sa Metro Manila sa unang araw ng pagbabalik-operasyon ng mga kumpanya

Robie de Guzman   •   May 18, 2020   •   225

MANILA, Philippines – Mabigat na trapiko ang naranasan sa ilang lansangan sa Metro Manila ngayong Lunes, Mayo 18 kasunod ng pagbabalik-operasyon ng ilang kumpaya sa ilalim ng modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Sa ulat ni UNTV Correspondent Asher Cadapan, Jr. sa Ito ang Balita, partikular na naranasan ang mabagal na daloy ng mga sasakyan sa Marcos Highway na boundary ng mga lungsod ng Pasig at Antipolo.

Ayon kay Edison “Bong” Nebrija, ang EDSA Traffic Czar ng Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), bumigat ang trapiko dahil sa ipinatutupad pa ring quarantine control points o checkpoints.

Mas naging dama aniya ang bagal ng galaw ng trapiko dahil sa mataas na volume ng sasakyang nasa kalsada ngayong araw kumpara noong naka-ECQ pa ang Metro Manila at mas limitado ang mga taong pinapayagang lumabas ng kanilang tahanan.

“Iba na y’ong volume ng vehicles kapag nasa general community quarantine at saka MECQ. Mas marami na po ngayon at very significant y’ong naging delay sa mga checkpoint because of the volume. Siyempre, marami po talaga mag-i-inspect saka hahaba po talaga y’ong queueing na tinatawag,” ani Nebrija.

Nasa ilalim na ng MECQ ang ilang lugar, kabilang na ang Metro Manila simula noong May 16.

Sa ilalim ng hakbang na ito, pinapayagan ang pagbalik ng kalahating porsyento ng operasyon at workforce ng mga negosyo at opisina ngunit obligado silang magpatupad ng safety at health protocols.

Kailangan ding maghanda sila ng shuttle bus o kaya ay mga pribadong sasakyan na maghahatid-sundo sa mga empleyado lalo’t suspindido pa rin ang operasyon ng public transportation sa ilalim ng MECQ.

Gayunman, limitado lang ang maaaring isakay rito at kailangang nakasunod sa physical distancing ang mga pasahero sang-ayon sa guidelines na inilabas ng Inter-Agency Task for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID.)

Bunsod nito, mas dumami ang mga sasakyang bumibiyahe sa Metro Manila, pati na ang mga nagbibisikleta sa kalye.

Ayon kay Nebrija, inaasahan na nila ito dahil sa limited seating capacity ng mga sasakyang papayagang bumiyahe sa ilalim ng MECQ.

Upang matiyak ang kaligtasan ng mga taong pipiliing mag-bisikleta na lamang papasok sa kanilang trabaho, sinabi ng MMDA official na pinag-uusapan na ng mga kinauukulang ahensiya ang paglalagay ng “protected bike lanes” sa kahabaan ng EDSA.

“It’s on the table already na papaano natin bibigyan ng bike lane; hindi lang basta-basta bike lane lalong lalo na sa EDSA kundi protected bike lane,” ani Nebrija.

“Kasi ‘pag nag-transition na tayo sa GCQ, everybody will be there and we do not want na ma-mix y’ong mga bisikleta sa with private vehicles, public transport or motorcycles,” dagdag pa niya.

Samantala, nilinaw rin ni Nebrija na nananatiling suspindido ang number coding scheme sa Metro Manila upang magamit ng mga empleyado ang pribado nilang sasakyan sa pagpasok sa trabaho. – RRD

MMDA eyes closure of 15 U-turn slots on EDSA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 3, 2020

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: 

CALOOCAN CITY

  • De Jesus
  • Gen. Tinio
  • Malvar
  • Biglang Awa

QUEZON CITY

  • Balintawak
  • Kaingin 
  • Landers 
  • Dario Brigde
  • Walter Mart
  • Quezon City Academy
  • Trinoma
  • Timog
  • Santolan

PASAY CITY

  • EDSA-Taft
  • Heritage Hotel

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)

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MRT-3 to operate at reduced capacity as COVID-19 cases in depot rise to 127

Maris Federez   •   July 2, 2020

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

Duterte extends ECQ in Cebu City; GCQ in Metro Manila until July 15

Marje Pelayo   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to extend the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Cebu City until July 15, 2020.

The President noted the “stubbornness” of its residents despite strict government protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19. He cited the situation in Talisay City where people tend to ignore social distancing protocols, with some even engaging in drinking sprees and gambling.

Ayaw ninyo maniwala, bakit marami? One of the reasons — even without consulting the Body— because you did not follow rules,” President Duterte said.

“You have the highest. Cebu is now the new hotspot for COVID-19. Bakit? Marami sa inyo ay hindi sumusunod,” he added.

The President expressed concern over the situations in Cebu City which he hopes will improve through the supervision of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the following areas will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until July 15:

  • Cavite
  • Rizal
  • Benguet
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Leyte
  • Ormoc
  • Southern Leyte
  • Talisay City, Minglanilla and Consolacion Municipalities in Cebu Province

The President commended the response of residents in the said areas to the government-imposed protocols which helped slow down the rate of COVID-19 infection.

You know Manila, maraming tao but because sumunod nila — with few violations thereabout— we here in Manila have a good chance of at least avoiding it,” he said.

To save the economy, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguz recommended to the President the further relaxing of quarantine measures in Metro Manila and the CALABARZON region. 

The rest of the country, meanwhile, will remain under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) specifically those identified as moderate and low risk areas where localized community quarantine and minimum health standards may strictly be observed. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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