MMDA to resume truck ban after NCR Plus switched to GCQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 14, 2021   •   353

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will resume the truck ban in Metro Manila beginning May 17 after quarantine classifications switched to general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.

Under the agency’s existing policy, trucks are banned from traversing along major roads in Metro Manila from Monday to Saturday 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

A total truck ban is enforced along EDSA, from Magallanes Interchange in Makati City to North Avenue in Quezon City, 24 hours a day, from Monday to Sunday.

Meanwhile, trucks carrying perishable and agricultural foodstuffs are exempted from the ban. AAC

Two cities in NCR record over 30,000 single-day vaccination

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Two cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) have recorded over 30,000 single-day coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination.

The City of Manila recorded over 35,000 vaccination on Tuesday (June 22), while Quezon City recorded more than 37,000 last Monday (June 21).

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is confident that it is only a matter of time before Metro Manila reaches herd immunity.

Based on the record of the MMDA, from around 14 million population in Metro Manila, 3.6 million are already vaccinated. Out of the 3.6 million, 2.6 million received the first dose while over 877,000 received the second dose.

MMDA Chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr. said they are expecting more supply of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“So let us assume there‘s a continuous supply of vaccines, at the end of September, majority of the population is more than achievable,” he said.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte assures that there will be enough vaccine supply available for individuals interested to be vaccinated.

“We are constantly evolving our system. We are constantly developing our systems as we read through the sentiments of our people and listen to their voices. We are responding,” she said.

Meanwhile, in other areas in Metro Manila, San Juan City vaccinated a total of 74,321 of its residents as of June 22; Caloocan City recorded 322,706 vaccinations as of June 19;  a total of 169,297 vaccinations in Mandaluyong City as of June 21; while Las Piñas has 148,949 residents vaccinated as of June 17.

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora is optimistic that the city will reach herd immunity by August.

“Iyon ating August timeline ay very achievable. Kaya nga tayo magdadagdag ng additional site pa sa Greenhills upang ang ating araw araw na 3,000 nababakunahan ay ma-schedule for second dose,” he said.

(Our August timeline is very achievable. That is why we opened additional [vaccination] sites in Greenhills for the 3,000 daily vaccinated individuals to have the second dose.)

Abalos estimates that the remaining population in Metro Manila will be able to receive the vaccine if LGUs continue to boost their vaccination efforts to increase the number of people vaccinated daily. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

NCR now low risk for COVID-19; 4 regions at high risk — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   June 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The National Capital Region (NCR) is now categorized as a low-risk area for COVID-19 amid a decreasing number of infections, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday.

In an online press briefing, DOH Epidemiology Bureau director Dr. Alethea De Guzman said Metro Manila has been exhibiting a declining virus growth rate in the past two weeks.

“Para po sa NCR, siya po ay na-classify na po ngayon natin at low risk dahil nagpakita siya ng pagbaba ng kaso by 23% in the last 2 weeks,” De Guzman said.

She said that from June 16 to 22, the NCR averaged 685 new cases daily, which is lower than its average of 825 cases from June 9 to 15.

The region’s average daily attack rate (ADAR) was logged at 5.7 cases per 100,000, hospital occupancy rate at 36.29 percent, and intensive care unit utilization rate at 45.83 percent.

Among the NCR Plus 8 areas, Laguna has yet to show a decline in cases, De Guzman said, as she noted that Calabarzon province is still exhibiting a plateau of COVID-19 cases.

The NCR was once the epicenter of COVID-19 in the Philippines.

“Kung dati nakikita natin na ang NCR ang number 1, in the last few days, it’s region CALABARZON as well as the inclusion of regions and areas from Visayas and Mindanao,” De Guzman said.

In Luzon, De Guzman said, almost all areas have exhibited declining cases except for the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

“For Luzon naman po, lahat ng mga lugar ay nagpapakita ng pagbaba ng kaso liban po sa CAR… parang halos flat po ang kaniyang linya,” she said.

While the NCR is now low-risk for COVID-19, four other regions have been flagged as high-risks after showing an increase in cases and bed occupancy rates.

These are Caraga, Regions 6, 11, and 12.

The average daily attack rate (ADAR) of coronavirus in Caraga is at 9.95 cases per 100,000, Region 6 at 8.83, Region 11 at 8.16, and Region 12 at 7.01.

De Guzman said that all four regions logged positive two-week case growth rates while Region 11’s ICU utilization rate was at high or critical risk.

Other areas where ICU occupancy rates have also reached the critical risk classification were Regions 2, 6, 10, and 12.

Nationwide, the trend of COVID-19 cases is showing signs of decline but De Guzman said there is still a need to reduce the number of daily cases as the current figure is still far from the pre-surge levels.

“Although we are happy that these numbers are going down, it is still far from our pre-spike levels of less than 2,000 cases per day nationally,” she said.

She urged the public to help reduce infections by following health protocols such as the proper wearing of face masks and observing physical distancing.

The implementation of the Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat, Reintegrate (PDITR) response at the community level should also be intensified, as well as the contact tracing and vaccination efforts. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Dario Bridge U-turn slot in Quezon City now open to motorists – MMDA

Marje Pelayo   •   June 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reopened on Tuesday (June 22) the U-turn slot at Dario Bridge in Quezon City.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said the reopening of U-turn slot at Dario Bridge aims to help ease traffic congestion on the northbound lanes of EDSA and reduce motorists’ travel time in the area.

“This would benefit the motorists because they can make a U-turn easily with a shorter route,” said Abalos.

The MMDA chief said he already coordinated with the private contractor of the Common Station connecting the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) located between SM North Edsa and Trinoma in Quezon City to likewise decongest traffic in the area.

“I have requested BF Corporation to move back their fences at their work area to open more lanes for passing motorists and fill it with gravel so traffic obstruction could be avoided,” Abalos stressed.

The said U-turn slot was previously closed to give way to the EDSA Bus Carousel.

However, studies on the flow of traffic showed that opening the said U-turn slot would improve the movement of vehicles in the area.

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