By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan
MANILA, Feb. 14 (PNA) — Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) launched on Friday a website that would update the public on traffic situation along major road projects that will be implemented simultaneously this year.
During the two-day Metro Manila Traffic Management Summit in Makati City, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino launched roadway project website — www.mmroadway.com — which enable to monitor status of the 15 major infrastructure road projects.
“Tamang info ng contractor regarding on the project status, ilalagay yung mobile number, email (address) at ng spokesperson ng contractor. Pipilitin na magkaroon ng road application within the next two days,” the MMDA chief explained.
He said the website will update twice a week on the project status, and will also add chat room to answer queries.
“So makikita ng public yung alternate routes dun sa www.mmroadways.com and active na ito. ‘Yung queries (public), may mga numbers kung sino yung tatawagan so coordinated yan,” he added.
Apart from traffic situation, the MMDA chief also stressed the importance of keeping the project sites safe for pedestrians and convenient to motorists by providing alternate routes.
“This should be well communicated to the public. You (contractors) need to provide safe walkways and alternative routes,” he said.
Tolentino expressed fear that the overlapping construction of the 15 major road projects will worsen traffic condition in Metro Manila.
He said two of the projects — the Skyway 3 project and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Expressway Phase 2 — will begin construction 10 p.m. Monday (Feb. 17).
Tolentino recommends a 24/7 work shift so construction would finish fast.
“Recommendations yun sa contractor 24/7 na sana, ibig sabihin na once na magsimula sila ay wala ng alisan kahit rush hour para matapos na at mapabilis. Yung 24/7 kasama na yun sa timetable, ang makakapaghinto lang (sa) trabaho ay kung may bagyo o ulan,” he said.
He also emphasized there would be no road closure for those under construction, but limited road space.
“Hindi papayagan mag-closure dahil may mga bumberong dumadaan and at least two lanes dapat ang maiwan na madadaanan. So nabawasan yung roadways — two lanes na lang — kaya sisikip ito bumper to bumper, shoulder to shoulder,” he said.
Tolentino anticipates that traffic volume in EDSA will increase to 55 percent and also that in Roxas Boulevard because of traffic diversion from Osmeña Highway due to the ongoing project of the Skyway 3.
“Hindi naman maapektuhan yung EDSA dahil walang construction naman dun, ang mangyayari lang sa EDSA ay may projected 55 percent pati rin sa Roxas Boulevard dahil yung nagtravel sa Osmena highway ay lilipat sa EDSA dahil two lanes ang aalisin sa Osmena dahil sa gagawing Skyway,” he said.
The skyway project will initially put in place 10 posts — from San Andres in Manila up to the end of Skyway in Buendia.
Tolentino also clarified that his proposed four-day school week has long been practiced successfully in several countries, particularly in the United States, which has resulted to lesser traffic congestion and reduced education and energy costs.
“This four-day school week program is not a new concept. In fact, it is being practiced since the ‘30s, and became more common in the 1970 US energy crisis,” the MMDA chief said.
Highlighting the benefits of the policy, Tolentino pointed out the shortened school week will not only help reduce vehicular and pedestrian volume in major thoroughfares but will also bring about significant reductions in transportation and education costs.
The MMDA chief also stressed that the shortened school week also helps improve morale and increased attendance by both students and teaching personnel.
In a letter to Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro, he said “the solution is not perfect and has room for adjustment to fit in the Philippine school system. However, it is also undoubtedly a scheme that will redound to the benefit of the general public and help improve the traffic situation in Metro Manila.”
“With only four days in school, students and teachers have more time to spend with their families and loved ones,” he said. (PNA)