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MMDA expresses concern over motorists disobeying ECQ

/ 02:53 PM April 13, 2020
How do you solve a problem like Edsa?

MMDA Edsa traffic chief Bong Nebrija. INQUIRER file photo / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — Despite the serious threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), many motorists still do not follow protocols under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) noted on Monday.

Recognizing this concern, MMDA special traffic and transport zone chief Bong Nebrija appealed to local government units (LGUs) to help address the glaring problem about the noticeable rise of volume of vehicles in some areas.

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Nebrija noted an unusual buildup of vehicles near Balintawak and Nepa-Q markets in Quezon City over the weekend despite the Luzon-wide ECQ.

“It means na marami sa mga tao hindi nag-observe ng [many people do not observe the] ECQ,” he said in an interview with dzBB.

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“It’s not the problem of traffic pero ‘yung [but of] social distancing and ECQ, ‘yun ang pinoproblema namin. Wala namang pasok eh [that’s what we are concerned about. Work was suspended anyway],” he added.

Nebrija noted that MMDA officers do not have police powers to sanction those violating the ECQ and noted that reports on similar incidents are only being relayed to the police and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

He said however, that even LGUs can help prevent the buildup of vehicles as part of measures against the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s alarming na kung ganyan po na in-extend na nga natin ang ECQ, makikita pa rin natin na ganyan ang ugali ng ating mga kababayan [that even after we have extended the ECQ, we still see this behavior of our countrymen]. We cannot contain this [disease] with that,” he said.

The ECQ in Luzon started on March 17 and will end on April 30, restricting more than 50 million Filipinos in their homes to flatten the curve of cases of infection.

The Quezon City government has earlier suspended the retail selling in seven markets in Balintawak to maintain physical distancing requirements.

These markets are Cloverleaf, North Division, Riverview I, Riverview II, Pilson’s, MC, and Edsan Bagsakan.

Wholesale and product drop-off, however, are still allowed since the markets are crucial in ensuring the steady supply of vegetables and farm products in various parts of Metro Manila.

Edited by JPV

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TAGS: Bong Nebrija, Coronavirus, coronavirus disease, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, enhanced community quarantine, MMDA
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