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MMDA slams netizen’s ‘misleading’ rant on mini-footbridge

/ 04:00 AM September 24, 2014
A BRIDGE TOO SMALL The MMDA “mini-footbridge” as shown in the photo that has drawn flak from netizens.  MMDA photo

A BRIDGE TOO SMALL The MMDA “mini-footbridge” as shown in the photo that has drawn flak from netizens. MMDA photo

MANILA, Philippines—A photo of a “mini-footbridge” built by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in Manila has gone viral and earned the ire of netizens for supposedly being an example of useless government projects.

But it pays to see the bigger picture, the MMDA said on Tuesday as it clarified that the structure was actually part of a park designed to familiarize children with traffic rules and road safety installations.

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In a statement, the MMDA said the park, built in 2012 on Adriatico Street in Malate, Manila (not near Quirino Grandstand, as the online rant said), “aims to teach our younger generation the ways and importance of obeying traffic rules and regulations.”

“That genuine purpose is far from stupidity. The social media is supposed to share facts and relevant, useful information. It shouldn’t be used to mislead and delude our countrymen or generate improper anger. As one campaign reminds us: ‘Think Before You Click,’” the agency said.

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The statement was addressed to a netizen said to be based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, who posted a photo of the mini-footbridge on Sept. 17 and called it the “weirdest project in the world.”

“Only in the Philippines. We didn’t only waste money, but it made us look dumb in the international engineering community,” the caption further read. The post has since been shared more than 6,000 times.

But in a message to that netizen, former MMDA traffic director Yves Gonzales said: “Making it seem like it’s a weird project or something that makes us look dumb, without knowing the full context and story behind the photo, is quite misleading. We are entitled to our own opinions, but not to our own facts. Thanks.”

It also turned out that the photo was originally from the MMDA Twitter account.

In earlier interviews, MMDA chair Francis Tolentino pointed out that aside from the miniature footbridge, the park also has an underpass, bike lanes and mini-traffic lights. Entrance to the park is free and schools are encouraged to bring pupils there, he added.

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TAGS: “Think Before You Click” campaign, Adriatico Street, Francis Tolentino, government projects, Malate, Manila, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, mini-footbridge, MMDA, Quirino Grandstand, Yves Gonzales
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