MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim prioritizes fight against corruption

UNTV News   •   May 24, 2017   •   6187

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_052317_General Danilo Lim

MANILA — Corruption and the lack of discipline in the agency — these are the priorities of retired General Danilo Lim as he assumes post as the new MMDA Chief.

Lim said these are President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders to him.

“He repeatedly told me to clean up the agency. Maybe he knows some problem of corruption in the agency,” he said.

Lim believes the alleged corruption in the agency is the reason why traffic remains troublesome in Metro Manila and other areas in the country.

“What is the root of the problem? They are making money. They have no courage to drive colorum vehicles if they have no contacts inside. They would not have the courage to park illegally along sidewalks without someone benefiting from it,” he added.

Lim said he will conduct an inventory first of equipment, personnel, contracts and other transactions of the MMDA.

“We will conduct an audit for that. Not necessarily to run after people, but I would like to know where I’m starting from.”

Lim also vows to clean up the ranks of allegedly corrupt traffic law enforcers.

Aside from corruption, the new leadership of the MMDA also vows to prioritize resolving the problem on traffic in the country.

Lim promises as well not to implement various traffic schemes, but to tighten the existing traffic laws.

“We will start with that, not with fancy solution not with complicated and fancy schemes but let’s go back to basic, basic implementation of the rules and enforcement, lets develop a culture of discipline so that order will return”

Lim is a former Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence of the Bureau of Customs under the Aquino Administration from 2011 to 2013. – Joan Nano | UNTV News and Rescue

Southbound portion of Roxas Boulevard to be closed on January 15 – MMDA

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The southbound portion of Roxas Boulevard will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 6 a.m. on Saturday, January 15, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced.

In an advisory, the MMDA said the partial road closure is to give way to the repair of the damaged box culvert of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in front of Libertad Pumping Station in Pasay City.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said the rehabilitation must be done immediately by the DPWH on the southbound lane of Roxas Boulevard, fronting HK Sun Plaza in Pasay City going to the flyover of EDSA-Roxas Boulevard.

“According to DPWH, because of the structural integrity of their project, the structure might weaken,” Abalos said.

“The agency has laid down alternate routes for affected motorists. Likewise, directional traffic signs will also be placed at strategic locations to better guide the public,” he added.

Motorists may opt to take the following routes:

For Light Vehicles:

  • From Bonifacio Drive/Roxas Boulevard: take Roxas Blvd.-Buendia Avenue service road, turn right at Buendia Avenue Extension then left at Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard going to destination
  • From Bonifacio Drive/Roxas Boulevard: turn right at HK Sun Plaza access road then left at Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard to destination
  • From Bonifacio Drive/Roxas Boulevard: left at Pres. Quirino Avenue to destination

For trucks/trailers and other vehicles from Bonifacio Drive going to Roxas Boulevard southbound:

All heavy vehicles/trucks/trailers may turn left to P. Burgos Avenue, straight towards Finance Road and Ayala Boulevard, then right to San Marcelino Street, take P. Quirino Avenue to South Luzon Expressway to destination.

Engr. Neomie Recio, Director of MMDA Traffic Engineering Center, assured that the agency will deploy enforcers to manage the traffic in the area.

“Once closed, we will deploy additional traffic enforcers for the entire duration of the rehabilitation. We will also implement a zipper lane or counterflow scheme for light vehicles, but on a case-to-case basis,” Recio said.

For his part, Mikunug Macud, district engineer of DPWH South Manila District Engineering Office, said the closure and repair works would last for 60 calendar days.

Moreover, the MMDA chief asked for understanding from the public as the temporary closure of Roxas Boulevard southbound is necessary for safety.

“We are appealing for the public’s understanding as to the inconvenience the temporary road closure would cause. But this is necessary to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians,” Abalos said.

Currently, 887 cargo trucks and 1,029 trailers per day are traversing the Roxas Boulevard southbound direction alone.

Defense chief on martial law rumors amid rising COVID-19 cases: Fake news

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Department of National Defense (DND) chief Delfin Lorenzana has denied rumors circulating on social media that the government will declare martial law or a total lockdown to address the rapidly growing new COVID-19 cases.

In a statement, Lorenzana said there is no compelling reason for President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law.

“Not true. Fake news. Definitely out of the picture. There is no compelling reason to declare martial law,” he said.

Rumors that Duterte will impose a total lockdown, barring everyone from going out of their homes to address the coronavirus surge have circulated on social media at the start of the week.

This week, the Philippines saw a rapid increase in the number of new infections, with 17,220 additional cases recorded on Thursday.

The sharp increase in the country’s COVID cases is believed to be caused by the local transmission of Omicron and Delta variants.

But Lorenzana pointed out that the latest tally is lower than the over 26,000 recorded in 2021.

He added that while highly transmissible, the Omicron variant is seen to be less aggressive than the Delta variant.

“The highest we had was 26,000+ last year. Today we have 17,220. This variant while more transmissible is less virulent than delta. Less people get seriously sick,” he said.

Due to rising cases, Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and 14 other areas in the country have been placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

President Rodrigo Duterte have also directed local officials to restrict the movement of unvaccinated persons in a bid to protect them from contracting the virus.

Lorenzana, who also chairs the National Task Force against COVID-19, said the Inter-Agency Task Force is still evaluating on the possibility of implementing stricter measures to combat the COVID-19 surge. (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Duterte orders barangay officials to restrict movement of unvaccinated persons

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has directed barangay officials to limit the mobility of persons who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 amid rising cases in the country.

During his pre-taped public briefing aired late Thursday, Duterte told barangay officials to advise unvaccinated residents to just stay at home to avoid contracting the disease, especially its highly transmissible variants.

“I’m now giving orders to the barangay captains to look for those persons who are not vaccinated and just would request them or order them, if you may, to stay put,” he said.

“If he refuses, he goes out of the house and goes around in the community or maybe wherever magpunta, he can be restrained,” he added.

Being persons in authority, Duterte said barangay captains have the power to arrest “recalcitrant” persons if they are unvaccinated and refuse to be restrained or escorted to their homes, he argued.

At the same time, village chiefs can also mobilize civilians to help them with the subjugation of people who haven’t received COVID-19 shot from leaving their homes and loitering outdoors.

“Give them the task officially probably written and that converts their status from being a civilian but also a person in authority called upon to assist the persons in authority,” he said.

“They now become agents of a person in authority. That is my position,” he added.

The president, however, clarified that he was issuing the order as part of his responsibility to ensure public safety and well-being.

He also pointed out that unvaccinated people will not be immediately imprisoned, and persons in authority will have to talk to them about the dangers of leaving their homes.

“I hate to say this word pero — these words: being the President, ultimately I am responsible for the safety and well-being of every Filipino and that is why my orders are to restrain them,” he said.

“Hindi naman kaagad arestuhin. Paki-usap lang, eh sir hindi ka nagpabakuna then you put everybody in jeopardy. You go out, you get contaminated, dalhin mo. Ngayon, por pamilya, por bahay ang contamination,” he added.

Meanwhile, Duterte ordered the police to arrest and detain for investigation individuals involved in the illegal trade of COVID-19 drugs in the black market.

“I would insist for the police to arrest them and detain them for investigation. If it’s a serious offense, that will go about 34 hours of detention and in that time, you can investigate,” he said.

The president said that nobody will be spared, stressing that his order also covers agents and sellers or sales representatives, and even owners of medical infrastructures.

“Sabihin nila even it’s a matter of violation, ‘wala kami, ‘yung aming mga staff lang.’ Do not give me that s***. Hulihin ninyo at ikulong ninyo,” he said.

The unregulated sale of COVID-19 drugs is a serious offense because it victimizes those who need the medicine but cannot afford to buy due to very steep prices.

Duterte also asked the Department of Justice to assign fiscals who could conduct summary investigation and inquest of those involved in the prohibited trade. He also wants the police to investigate their areas of responsibility and to “solve the problem.”

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