Ban on Metro road works starts Monday
A METRO-WIDE moratorium on all road works will take effect starting today (Monday) until Jan. 3 next year to help ease traffic flow during the holiday season.
During the agency’s Sunday radio program, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Emerson Carlos said that the nearly three-week ban on road repairs and excavations would cover 146 projects, mostly drainage improvement works of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Also affected by the moratorium are reblocking projects—including those on Edsa and C-5—even restoration activities to be carried out by utility companies and road diggings that will obstruct smooth traffic flow.
Flagship projects exempt
Carlos, however, said that all government flagship projects such as the Skyway Stage 3, Ninoy Aquino International Airport Elevated Expressway, North Luzon Expressway and South Luzon Expressway connector were exempted from the ban, including emergency repairs on utilities such as water leaks.
The MMDA had announced earlier that projects in areas that would remain inaccessible despite halting all work would not be affected by the moratorium. This includes the Blumentritt Interceptor Catchment Area project in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
However, the ban extends to road projects initiated by local government units (LGUs) although the MMDA said that an exemption may be requested.
Private contractors undertaking road works for LGUs who violate the moratorium face the following penalties under MMDA Ordinance No. 2 (Series of 1991): A fine of not less than P3,000 but not more than P10,000 or imprisonment of not less than 20 days but not over six months.
MMDA Traffic Discipline Office head Cris Saruca said they were hopeful that the Metro-wide moratorium would help reduce congestion in major and minor thoroughfares during the holidays.
‘Use Mabuhay Lanes’
“The expected volume of vehicles [on Edsa] is around 300,000 which is why we are encouraging motorists to use the Mabuhay Lanes,” Saruca told the Inquirer.
The Mabuhay Lanes are 17 alternate routes for motorists who want to avoid Edsa. The MMDA has been conducting clearing operations in roads covered by the routes to keep these free of obstructions.
In line with this, the MMDA also launched “Netizen’s Watch” last week, its newest social media campaign aimed at speeding up the reporting of road blocks so that the agency could take immediate action.
“This social media campaign aims to muster the support of the public and private sectors in reporting to the agency all traffic obstructions on all roads in Metro Manila, especially along Mabuhay Lanes,” Carlos said.
Under the new campaign, the public can take photos of illegally parked vehicles, sidewalk vendors and other street obstructions and send these to the MMDA’s official Twitter account (@MMDA) using the hashtag #NetizensWatch.
Viber hotline up
Carlos said that the reports could also be sent to the MMDA Viber hotline (0906-1476975).
“The report should include the name of the sender and the actual picture including the detailed location where the illegally parked vehicle or the obstruction was spotted and the time it was taken,” he added.
All information will be verified by the MMDA’s social media team which will then forward these to Saruca’s office for prompt action.