To speed up the delivery of donations from Metro Manila to typhoon-battered areas in the Visayas region, trucks being used for relief operations will be exempted from the number coding scheme and truck ban.
In a memorandum issued on Nov. 14, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Francis Tolentino said the exemption would apply to trucks ferrying relief goods to and from repacking centers, seaports and airports until Nov. 30.
Tolentino specifically cited in his memo relief centers operated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development such as its National Resource Operations Center on Naia Road in Pasay City, the one located at the Ninoy Aquino stadium on M. Adriatico Street, Manila and in the Air 21 warehouse on Old MIA Road in Parañaque City.
In a phone interview, MMDA General Manager Cora Jimenez said that truck drivers should first “coordinate with the office of [the MMDA] chairman for stickers that show they are exempted” as she warned unscrupulous drivers against abusing the privilege.
Under the current modified regulation, trucks weighing more than 4,500 kilograms, except those delivering perishable goods, are banned from major thoroughfares from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., every day except Sundays and holidays. A total truck ban is also in effect on Edsa, from Magallanes in Makati City to North Avenue in Quezon City.
Meanwhile, the Makati City government said the other day that there would be no Christmas party for its employees as it also announced the cancellation of its annual New Year’s Eve countdown celebration to show its sympathy for typhoon victims.
“I hope our constituents and employees are one with us in our decision to cancel the said events. Everyone must understand that it is not fair to rejoice while many of our kababayans are still grieving and trying to cope with the grim aftermath of Typhoon ‘Yolanda,’” Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. said in a press statement.
The New Year’s Eve street party countdown on Ayala Avenue with its fireworks display and free concert has been a major tourist attraction in Makati since it started in 2004.
It was cancelled only three times: In 2010 in the aftermath of the oil leak that started at the West Tower condominium, in 2009 after the destruction wrought by Typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” and as an austerity measure in 2005.