Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And don't forget to clean up all your fireworks debris from your streets!

Photo credit: Aaron Favila

A major traffic jam was formed yesterday on southbound EDSA after one of the lanes on the Magallanes flyover was closed due to the discovery of cracks and holes on the Pasay-bound side of the bridge. Although the cracks were supposedly first discovered by a group of DPWH bridge engineers at 8am during a routine inspection, the lane was only closed at 11am when local policemen noticed the damage. However, Engr. Oscar Cammayo, chief of the DPWH’s 2nd Metro Manila Engineering District, claims that the 40-year old bridge is still structurally sound.

Wonder what kind of inspection they could have done in a few hours to claim that the bridge is still sound? Considering the pounding that the bridge takes everyday and the possibility of earthquakes, wouldn't a more in-depth investigation be called for?

MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando has announced that the MMDA has done well in the past year, claiming that the U-turn slots, bus loading bays and the strict enforcement of traffic regulations have contributed greatly to the easement of traffic on EDSA. According to the agency's statistics, the average speed on EDSA has risen 50%, from 21.11 km/hr to 31.88 km/hr, since 2003. Also, he says that new programs such as the Organized Bus Route system and the installation of 200 wireless surveillance cameras on EDSA will also bring about more improvements to the traffic flow in the coming year.

We're sure that everything they've done has contributed to the slight improvement in the traffic situation, but they can do so much more. For example, instead of catching yellow lane violators or smoke belchers, why not concentrate enforcement on those buses that load and unload outisde of the loading bays? These guys are a major source of traffic. Why not try and reduce the number of vehicles on the road? There are still tons of coding violators (for God's sake, don't let them go after you've caught and ticketed them. They're not supposed to be on the road so make them leave their vehicle until coding is over!) or vehicles with expired registrations. They should also push to reduce the number of buses since occupancy levels are quite low. As for their U-turn slots, are we the only ones who notice that they actually force vehicles to swerve sharply to the right after they make the turn?

Anyways, enough ranting. What do you guys think?

Monday, December 29, 2008

In preparation for the big New Year countdown party to be held on Ayala Ave./Makati Ave., here's a confusing article from ABS-CBN News regarding the rerouting in Makati starting on what we assume is December 31 (as the article made no mention of the date).

Bottom line? Avoid the following roads:
- Ayala Ave. from EDSA until Salcedo St.
- Makati Ave. from Arnaiz Ave. (formerly Pasay Rd.) until Paseo de Roxas

You might want to avoid de la Rosa St. and Paseo de Roxas as well, as they plan to make those into a parking lot.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Toll fees for the Coastal Road and STAR tollways are scheduled to rise on January 1, 2009. According to the TRB, the rate hike is justified as the last hike was implemented 2 years ago.

Based on this article, the new rates will be as follows:

Coastal Road
- Class 1 vehicles or cars: P22 (from P18)
- Class 2 or light trucks and buses: P43 (from P36)
- Class 3 or heavy trucks: P65 (from P54)

STAR (Southern Tagalog Arterial Road) Stage 1 - Santo Tomas to Lipa
- Class 1 vehicles or cars: P29 (from P24)
- Class 2 or light trucks and buses: P58 (from P47)
- Class 3 or heavy trucks: P87 (from P71)

STAR Stage 2 - Lipa to Batangas City
- Class 1 vehicles or cars: P26 (from P20)
- Class 2 or light trucks and buses: P52 (from P40)
- Class 3 or heavy trucks: P77 (from P60)

Toll fees for the NLEX, SLEX, Skyway and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway will however remain unchanged.

Wonder what the basis for the rate hike is? Most likely it is the increase in prices in general. Oil may have gone down a lot, but that still has to be reflected in the prices of everything else.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Photo credit:

PGMA has declared January 2 as a special non-working holiday. This means that coding will automatically be suspended on this day.

Enjoy the long break!

SeaOil, UniOil and Flying V all implemented rollbacks on Christmas eve. SeaOil and Flying V cut P1 for both gas and diesel, while UniOil by P5-P7 and P4 for gas and diesel, respectively.

Although there is no news of a rollback from the Big 3, Shell did announce that they will match SeaOil and UniOil prices in locations where these companies have stations.

Hay naku! The Oil Deregulation Law really is a dismal failure. Competition between the oil companies, which was one of the major goals of deregulation, is practically non-existent since the new players represent a small percentage of the total number of stations.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The MMDA has announced that coding will be lifted from December 25 to January 1. Unfortunately, based on the lack of any mention of December 24, it is assumed that coding will still be in effect on that day.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shouldn't they be the first ones to follow the letter of the law?
Anyway, wonder how they lost the plate in the first place?

This is the third sighting this month. This guy was seen heading south on SLEX approaching the Alabang viaduct. His license plate was extremely faded but using Photoshop, we were able to make the plate number pop out. Looks like PH-6998.
Lemme see. First, no helmet. Second, the backrider is not from the PNP. Third, the plate number is faded. Three strikes and you're out!

Anyway, there was an old post here regarding a press release of then PNP Chief Avelino Razon regarding the PNP's motorcycle use policy, but the link in that post doesn't seem to work anymore. However, we've managed to capture a screen shot from the Daily Tribune of the same press release so we're posting it here.
Sure hope that the current PNP chief Jesus Verzosa takes action on these guys. They need to shape up if they want our respect.

Here's a pic of the Guadalupe bridge, before and after they removed the provincial bus stop.
Sino naman ang engot na nagisip na maglagay ng bus stop sa tulay? Siguro natanggal na sa trabaho 'yun.


Hahahaha! Always wanted to say that. =)

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Big 3 (Shell, Petron and Chevron) and Eastern Petroleum has announced a P2 per liter rollback on gas, diesel and kerosene products earlier today. SeaOil also announced that it will rollback diesel by the same amount. The rollback will take effect 12:01am tomorrow, Saturday, December 20.

Any hope for another one before the year ends?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Saw this jeep, with plate no. SBW-589, make an illegal left turn from EDSA-southbound to Santolan heading towards Katipunan last night.
Like we've mentioned before, they should really put a 24-hour video cam on this intersection.

Hindi pa pala patay yung provincial bus stop project. Here's a shot of the one in front of Megamall, taken last night. Looks like it'll eat up one of the non-yellow lanes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Makati City will again be monitoring and apprehending taxi drivers who refuse passengers, charge extra or engage in "pangongontrata", with the reactivation of their Oplan Isnaberong Tsuper.

To report violations, please contact the following numbers:
- Makati Command Center hotline 168
- 870-1920
- 870-1923
- 870-1926
- 870-1929
- 870-1932
- 870-1935
- 870-1955
- 870-1950
- 870-1951
- 899-8879

Ang daming numbers naman. Sana prinogram na lang nila sa PBX nila para isang number na lang ang kelangan tandaan. Hehehe.

Anyway, it's pretty weird that Makati has their own version of this. The LTO already has Oplan Isnabero, so wouldn't it have been better to just support that program so that complaints can be handled by the organization that controls the franchises and driver's licenses? It's still good, though, as it puts more pressure on these taxis to play good.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Small-time player Jetti announced a rollback of P1 and P2 per liter for diesel and gas, respectively, effective today. No news from any of the other oil companies on whether they'll follow suit.

Slow news day.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Effective today, the minimum fares for P7.50 for jeeps and P9.00 for buses. Also, the P10 add-on for taxi fares has been removed. Check out this article from GMANews.TV for more details.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Recently noticed that the provincial bus stop on the Guadalupe bridge has disappeared. So what happened? Not that we're complaining. It was a really stupid idea to begin with.

Anyway, here's a shot of the one at Guadalupe taken last December 6. Hope they do disappear permanently.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Big 3 announced a P1 per liter rollback on gasoline, diesel and kerosene effective Friday, December 12.

Ang cheap naman! We want our P10 rollback!

Here's a quick rundown of links regarding the rerouting in Makati's CBD for the interfaith, anti-Charter Change rally to be held tomorrow, December 12, 2008, from noon to 10pm:
1. Advisory from Makati's Department of Public Safety
2. Article from

Bottom line here is Ayala Avenue will be closed off for most of the day, so expect traffic to affect all the major thoroughfares leading to it. Unless you plan to join the rally, we suggest you just avoid the area completely.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Saw a couple of vehicles ignore the no left turn sign in this intersection last Sunday afternoon. First was a Toyota Lite Ace with plate no. TFC-231. A Hyundai Tucson ('ata) with plate no. ZRX-778 followed it immediately after.
There was also a taxi as well, but we weren't able to capture a picture of it. Binubusinahan na nga sila ng ibang tao at nanghaharang ng mga dumederetso, pero di lang man nila pinapansin.

Anyway, they should really put a 24-hour camera to monitor this intersection. Sobrang dami ang sasakyan na nag-i-ignore ng traffic light and no left turn signs. Sadly, karamihan pa d'yan ay mga PNP na papunta o nanggagaling sa Krame.

Saw these guys last Sunday, December 7, on EDSA.
The van, which didn't have a rear license plate, was full of PNP. And the cop trailing them on his bike (license plate no. 4748-PG) didn't have a helmet. Tadtad pa ng police stickers yung mga sinasakyan nila.

Nananawagan po kay Director General Razon. Paki linis naman ng inyong bakuran para makita ng taong bayan na seryoso kayo sa pagpatupad ng inyong tungkulin.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Just in case we forget, December 26, 29 and 31 have all been declared as special non-working holidays. So, following standard UVVRP guidelines, coding will be suspended during these dates. This means that starting Christmas Day until New Year's Day, everyone can use their vehicles all they want to go where they want at any time they want (tama ba english n'un?). Of course, some mayors may have a penchant to "go against the tide" so we'll keep you posted.

Anyway, click here to see a PDF of Proclamation No. 1463 from Malacanang.

P.S. Unfortunately, no announcement regarding December 24 has been made. But keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Hanggang ngayon, hindi pa din naaayos 'tong kanto ng Santolan at C. Benitez.
Nung Enero pa 'to unang na-report dito sa Huli Ka!, pero hanggang ngayon sira pa din.

May tulo kasi 'ata yung tubo ng Manila Water dito. Naka-ilang beses na sila nag-re-repair dito, pero di pa din maayos. Sana naman magawa na ng mabuti 'to.

Ha! Huli ka!

Check out this bike cop on a Sunday ride with what I assume is his son. It's good that he values his son's life, but he's in violation of at least two rules that I know of.
Anyway, the bike's plate number is SL3680 and the side marking is 33. Hope this guy get's reprimanded 'cos we're all sick and tired of seeing cops breaking the rules instead of enforcing them.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

For those of you who aren't sure, December 1 has been declared as a regular holiday by GMA. And as with all holidays, coding is suspended.

So those of you who have plates ending with 1 or 2, you can go ahead and roam the streets. Have fun!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Effective tomorrow, both Petron and Shell will rollback pump prices by P5 per liter for gas and P2 for diesel and kerosene.

Bumigay din.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Eastern Petroleum will be rolling back pump prices by P3 for gas and P1 for diesel, effective 12:01am on Friday morning.

Unfortunately, the Big 3 still hasn't given any indication on whether they will be following the trend or not, prompting presidential-wannabes to release statements asking the President to pressure them to lower their prices.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

UniOil has announced a massive rollback of P6 per liter for gasoline and P4 per liter for diesel, effective 2pm today. According to the report, UniOil implemented this large rollback to catch up with the rest of the players since their last rollback was implemented on October 30. However, this move also makes their pump prices cheaper by around 1-2 pesos.

Take that SeaOil! Take that Big 3! Hahahaha!

SeaOil has again trumped the other oil players by announcing a rollback of P2 per liter for diesel and P1 per liter for gas and kerosene. This took effect 2pm yesterday.

So, for those of you who don't really have brand preferences or quality predispositions, then troop towards the nearest SeaOil station! And for the other oil players, sumunod na kayo!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saw this sign on EDSA last night.
We actually have mixed feelings about this. AUVs should be allowed to use the yellow lanes. Promoting the use of mass public transportation should be a priority and if letting AUVs use the yellow lanes makes the commuting public get to where they're going faster, then it should be allowed. As for cabs, they typically only carry one person (or group), and contributes to the traffic situation as if that person (or group) brought their own vehicle. So, for taxis, we agree with banning them from the yellow lanes.

Saw this convoy of 2 bike cops, an Expedition with plate number ZBL-788, and a Revo with plate number XLW-309 on EDSA yesterday around 11:45am. The two vehicles had blinkers inside the front grill, which is now the de facto standard after the government "pretended" to crack down on their use a year or so back.

Shell and Petron has implemented a second P1 per liter rollback this week. The rollback took effect at 12:01am Saturday morning. Hopefully, the rest follows and the trend of having multiple rollbacks per week continues.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The MMDA has announced that it will set up 13 new bus stops on EDSA for the exclusive use of provincial buses. This was prompted by findings showing that the sharing of bus stops by both metro and provincial buses are a major cause of traffic congestion.

Oh no! This means that there will be 13 more spots where you can expect traffic on the already highly congested thoroughfare. Anyway, aren't provincial buses only allowed to load and unload passengers on their bus terminals? This is why they're not supposed to use the yellow lanes, right?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The top 3 oil firms have announced another P1 per liter rollback across all three fuel products effective 12:01am on Thursday. According to Petron spokesperson Virginia Ruivivar, the rollback reflects international oil prices.

Yeah, right! Don't get me wrong 'cos I am thankful and every little bit does help. But, c'mon! Current international oil prices should translate to a lower pump price, comparing it from pre-crisis days.

Update: According to this article from GMANews.TV, 5 oil firms are implementing the rollback. Also, they're using the peso depreciation as an excuse for the not-as-big-as-expected rollback!

A motorcycle rammed into a taxi at the Quezon Ave. underpass earlier today after the driver of the taxi stopped suddenly to gawk at a film crew shooting a movie. The driver of the motorcycle suffered cuts and bruises after being thrown off, while the cab driver was arrested for "reckless imprudence resulting to serious physical injury for being too curious". Read about it here.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Passed through the newly-opened northbound side of the Alabang Viaduct earlier today. At least, it'll help ease traffic for those going to Makati and the rest of northern Metro Manila, especially in the mornings. Hope they can finish the southbound side soon.

Anyway, here's an article about it from ABS-CBN.

Friday, November 14, 2008

LTO has announced another campaign to monitor and apprehend taxi drivers who forego the use of their meters and ask passengers for a fixed fee instead. During a radio interview with LTO chief Alberto Suansing, he said that they will be conducting surprise inspections of taxi bays around the metro, particularly those near the malls, in order to put a stop to this practice. He even gave his "personal" number, 0918-9447951, and invited people to text him directly if they encounter drivers of this type. Read more about it here.

Totoo'ng personal number kaya n'ya 'yan? Baka pwede s'yang maging text mate?

Chevron, SeaOil and Eastern Petroleum all announced rollbacks effective at 12:01am today. Reports from different sources, however, differ on the amounts. According to the Inquirer, Chevron rolled back pump prices by P1.50, SeaOil by P2.50 and Eastern by P1.00. However, GMA reports that Chevron rolled back diesel by only P1.00 and fuel by P1.50. Not sure if "fuel" meant both gas and kerosene, though. Hopefully, updates on these reports will straighten this out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fares for the MRT might go up between P7.50 and P10 if the DOTC approves their pending petition. The petition seeks to raise fares from P10 to P17.50 for the shortest trip and P15 to P25 for the longest by the first quarter of 2009. MRT General Manager Roberto Lastimoso also says that, if approved, the government will end up saving as much as P1.2 billion as this will reduce government subsidies. Anyway, read about it here.

Yikes! A lot of people are now counting on the MRT to help them cope during these tough times. If the fare hike is approved, this is gonna be a major hit for a lot of people. It also means that the government will have a more difficult time in reducing the number of buses plying EDSA since a lot of people will end up using the buses to save money. Sana naman hindi 'to matuloy.

According to this breaking news article on Inquirer. net, LTO chief Bert Suansing is now saying that a 60kph maximum speed limit will be set for Commonwealth Ave., per Quezon City Ordinance 1836. Implementation will start Tuesday, November 18, 2008.

So, who was wrong? Suansing or ABS-CBN?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

According to this clip from ABS-CBN News, the LTO, LTFRB and PNP Highway Patrol Group have jointly announced that a 40kph speed limit will be strictly enforced on Commonwealth Ave.

Another clip says that the LTFRB and bus operators are looking at technical options to limit the speeds of buses. They're looking at a couple of gadgets called the Rev Limiter, which supposedly limits the engine from reaching its maximum rotational speed, and the Speed Limiter, which bogs down the engine once a preset speed limit is reached.

Will these efforts work? We sure hope so.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Quezon City Police District Director and Senior Superintendent Magtanngol Gatdula has issued a directive to all QC bike cops to wear their helmets when on board their bikes or lose two months pay and risk suspension. The directive even included penalties for the immediate superior of the erring cop on the basis of command responsibility.

This new directive was in response to the latest memorandum on the helmet regulation issued by Director Jefferson Soriano of the National Capital Regional Police Office to all five district directors. According to Soriano, previous directives were ignored.

Ignored?! Grabe naman talaga 'tong mga 'to. Kaya walang sumusunod sa mga batas dito sa 'pinas. Anyway, start sending in those snapshots of cops without helmets so we can help "educate" them.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

In the wake of a number of fatal accidents involving buses in the past couple of weeks, LTFRB chairman Thompson Lantion has proposed that bus drivers' salaries should be changed from commission-based to a fixed monthly salary. However, Integrated Metro Bus Operation Association (IMBOA) head Claire dela Fuente has argued that metro bus drivers would not be "comfortable" with this type of system, saying that this would be more applicable to provincial bus drivers.

Now, this is something that really should be implemented. Metro bus drivers drive the way they do (fast, swerves, goes out of the yellow lanes, avoids the loading stations, etc.) all in a bid to overtake the other buses and pick up more passengers. Simply because the more they pickup, the bigger their take-home pay. Everybody knows that this adds to the worsening traffic situation and the number of accidents that occur, especially on major thoroughfares like EDSA. So if you take away that "incentive," then it follows that drivers would have no need to hurry and are thus more likely to follow traffic rules and regulations.

But bus operators and drivers are not too keen with this setup. The operators are afraid that drivers will get lazy since there would be little incentive to perform. Unlike other jobs, there is very little prospect of promotion and bus companies would have very little leeway in terms of giving performance or even annual increases. This translates to lower revenues and higher operation costs for them. On the other hand, the drivers, especially those that are already used to a higher level of income than what a fixed salary system could provide, would be loathe to the change 'cos this will basically mean lower income for them.

But, what is more important here, public safety or the bus companies and drivers? The LTFRB should make this call, and they should definitely make it soon.

The LTFRB has approved a provisional fare reduction of P0.50 for jeepneys and non-airconditioned buses and P1.00 for airconditioned buses effective Wednesday, November 5, 2008. Instead of a new fare matrix, PUVs will be required to post "formal orders" (read: memo) from the LTFRB in their vehicles.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The big three, Shell, Petron and Chevron, all announced a P2 rollback for gasoline and kerosene and a P5 rollback for diesel. The new prices took effect at 7am this morning. Woohoo!

Update: A couple of other firms are also rolling back prices, as well. Eastern Petroleum is implementing their P2/P5 rollback effective at 12nn. SeaOil, on the other hand, had implemented a P2 rollback on diesel at 12:01am today and backed it up with another P2 effective 8am.

Update: Unioil trumps everyone else again, implementing a P2.50 rollback on gasoline and P6 on diesel starting at 2pm today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The DOTC has announced that it will impose stricter sanctions against PUV companies and drivers who have been involved in road accidents. This includes the immediate suspension of the driver and a 30-day cease-and-desist order for the PUV company pending investigation of the accident.

We suppose this is in response to the revelation that the bus driver that rammed the Mercedes Benz a few days ago, resulting in the death of Dr. Federico Sarabia, had a record of over 7 traffic violations with the MMDA. Good move by the DOTC, but isn't this supposed to be standard practice?

And why just now? Are they taking action because the victim (no offense to his family) happened to be a prominent personality? News reports involving traffic-related deaths are not uncommon, and a lot of them have been about trucks or buses losing control because of either reckless driving or some equipment malfunction. Shouldn't the drivers or the bus or trucking companies, depending on the circumstances, be suspended and held liable if the investigation proves that they were at fault?

Hay naku. Another knee jerk reaction from the government. Kelangan talagang may mangyaring masama bago gumalaw ng maayos.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The MMDA is currently monitoring EDSA to determine the most appropriate speed limit for the major thoroughfare. According to MMDA chair Bayani Fernando, the 40kph speed limit set some time ago is not valid anymore, even if the average speed right of vehicles traversing EDSA is 31.88kph. Fernando believes that since EDSA is considered a "highway", the speed limit should be around 100kph.

100kph on EDSA?! With people crossing on the ground level, buses swerving in and out of the yellow lanes and stopping suddenly at the middle of the road, motorcycles lane splitting and swerving right and left, vehicles going at 40kph driving on the fast lane and staying two lanes out before turning right?! Yeah, right!

Again, we feel that 60kph would be a more appropriate limit, with 40kph being the limit for the yellow lanes. Until drivers and pedestrians learn some discipline (and the only way they can learn is through proper enforcement), then anything faster than this would be ridiculous.

On Friday, October 24, a caravan of around 300 jeepney drivers from various transport organizations will be visiting the offices of the Big 3 oil companies to demand for bigger rollbacks in pump prices. According to article, the caravan will start out from Isetan Department Store in Cubao. Unfortunately, no other details, such as time or route, were included in the announcement.

So, be prepared for some traffic tomorrow. Most likely, these guys will be going around during rush hour for maximum impact. And their route would most probably be EDSA, Buendia to Petron, then Makati Ave. or Paseo de Roxas to Shell, then Ayala to Chevron.

The Big 3 and two of the smaller players all announced rollbacks of P1 per liter for gas, diesel and kerosene, effective today. Some exceptions, though: Shell's E10 was only rolled back by P0.75 while SeaOil did not include diesel in the rollback due to their P2 rollback last week.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pilipinas Shell President and Chairman Edgar Chua has announced on yesterday's gathering of tricycle drivers and operators at the MOA that a rollback may be implemented on Thursday or Friday as oil prices plunge to $61 per barrel.

Well, they better bring it down by a big chunk. According to this report, gasoline prices are way over what they were when oil prices were on their way up. Speaker Prospero Nograles said that the price of gasoline last January was at P44 per liter and world oil prices were at $87 per barrel. Now, with oil at $70 per barrel, pump prices are still at P46-P48 per liter.

Every Sunday, one of our readers is awoken by the sounds of exotic cars zooming on the Skyway at around 7:30am. So here are some pics he managed to take.
Here's one of the cars, a Porsche we think, passing Pasong Tamo before the race, probably on his (or her) way to the starting line.
There were quite a few of them, and their number keeps getting bigger and bigger every weekend. According to our reader, it started out with a two identical Ferraris (a red and a yellow one) a couple of years ago, and they didn't race all that often. But now, it seems like it's getting to be a regular thing.

Well, let's just hope that none of them fall off and hit some poor unfortunate soul on the ground level.

The MMDA has announced that armored cars, who are among the most frequent violators of traffic rules, are not exempt from the ban on using the yellow lanes and has ordered the agency's traffic enforcers to go after them should they be caught violating this rule. Drivers of armored cars usually use security as an excuse, citing that they are carrying large amounts of cash and are prone to being ambushed. But MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando advises that they should just beef up on security escorts to protect themselves.

Hah! Armored cars are just as bad as those plain clothed escorts that politicians use, driving like assholes and often leaving the "scene of the crime" should they figure into an accident. But enforcers might be hesitant in apprehending these vehicles as they might just end up looking at the barrel of a gun poking out of those gun ports. Barilan na!

Just found out about this now.

Seems like the Las Pinas local government has joined both Makati and Pasay in implementing coding even during the window hours of 10am-3pm. This was first imposed last June. Here's an old article about it.

Also, keep in mind that the city of Las Pinas ends once you get past the Concha Cruz entrance of BF Homes on Alabang-Zapote Rd. According to this thread on, a lot of MMDA enforcers have been duping people along the Muntinlupa stretch of Alabang-Zapote Rd., as well as on Commerce Ave.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Taxis with receipt-issuing meters started plying the streets of Roxas City today. The cabs are also equipped with two-way radios and are driven by uniformed drivers, professionally trained by the Capiz Visitors and Convention Bureau for tourism services.

Hope they start implementing the same thing here in Metro Manila para mabawasan yung mga nangongontrata.

LTO chief Alberto Suansing has announced plans to require driver's license applicants to go through a neuro-psychiatric test. According to him, they are currently determining if implementation would require Congress or can be done via an administrative order. He also said that this will definitely increase the driver's license fee but that "it would be a small price to pay to ensure the safety of the motorists and the pedestrians."

Hay naku! Raket na naman! Just like that stupid drug test which costs P300 (or is it P250?) when the total cost for the test is much less than P100. You know, instead of outsourcing the testing, they should just accredit major hospitals and clinics. That way people will have:
1. A choice where to have the test done - Having to pee in front of strangers in these dingy, dirty, so-called clinics is not a good experience.
2. Promote competition and bring the prices down - A piss and a standard optemetrist's chart is not worth 300 bucks.
3. Remove any doubts that this is a money-making scheme - This exclusive stuff really does lead us to believe that there's someone out there making big bucks on this.

If they're worried about "cheating", then they can declare a test validity period. And if they're really paranoid, then they should just come up with a central database and ask those accredited to connect and update real-time (uy, another potential money-making scheme for Stradcomm!).

Friday, October 17, 2008

The last two players have finally followed the flock. SeaOil has announced a P2 per liter rollback on diesel effective 2pm today, while UniOil will be rolling back diesel by P2 and gasoline by P1 by 10pm tonight.

Sige, sige! Hirit lang ng hirit!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

After Shell, Petron and Eastern Petroleum implemented a P1 per liter reduction on gas, diesel and kerosene at 6am this morning, two more companies followed with their own rollbacks. Chevron implemented a P1 reduction at 12nn while Flying V rolled back diesel by P3 per liter at 6pm. Read the article here.

Hope the trend continues and, dare we hope, escalates. We doubt if the big three will play with the kids, though.

Three oil firms (Shell, Petron and Eastern Petroleum) have announced a reduction of P1 per liter for gas, diesel and kerosene, according to this article on the The price drop took effect at 6am this morning.

Piso lang? International prices are now down to $78/barrel!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The MMDA has announced that the taxis, jeepneys and other forms of PUVs, except for Metro Manila buses, may be banned from using the yellow lanes on EDSA. The move will, according to MMDA Traffic Operations Center Executive Director Angelito Vergel de Dios, ensure an uninterrupted flow of buses on the outer lanes of EDSA, and is being done in preparation for the implementation of the Organized Bus Route system. Read more about it here.

First, the yellow lanes are not the ones that are clogged with vehicles, buses or otherwise. Second, when will metro buses be banned from using the non-yellow lanes? These buses are the ones that contribute to the traffic situation, especially in and around the loading stations.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Transport groups have announced that they have decided to put their strike plans on hold. According to this article on, they will be giving the oil companies a chance to bring down pump prices in the next week or two, before they decide whether to proceed or not.

Is this in response to the calls for a fare rollback? According to LTFRB chairman Thompson Lantion, a meeting with commuter and transport groups today has resulted in a decision to bring down fares by Christmas time. A delay in the fare rollback would definitely be a boon to public utility drivers and companies, as this does not preclude any pump price reductions.

Finger pointing between the MMDA and the DPWH, as well as the Senate and the House of Representatives and the DPWH (again), is now the trend a day after three billboards were downed on EDSA yesterday.

First, while the MMDA has been conducting clearing operations of the fallen billboards, they have limited themselves to those parts which may impede traffic flow. According to this article, Roberto Esquivel, head of the MMDA’s sidewalk clearing operations, has pointed to DPWH as the one who should dismantle the main structure as they are the ones who have jursidiction.

Second, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, principal sponsor of the anti-billboard bill from last year's congress, has blamed the House of Representatives for railroading the passage of said bill last year. According to her, certain legislators worked with the "billboard lobby" to ensure that no action would be taken in the lower House. Considering the amount of noise that she made over this issue before, she's well justified in placing the blame. However, it would be a lot better if she names names.

Lastly, Senator Bong Revilla has joined the fray, pointing to the DPWH as the main culprit. “The inspection and monitoring of billboards should be on a regular basis, not after there is already an accident. This is a clear sample of ningas-kugon,” he said.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Three billboards fell down after strong winds accompanying a sudden downpour swept through EDSA this afternoon. According to this article on, two of the billboards were illegal, as they did not follow established guidelines for billboard size and placement. At least one of them was 80'x90', way beyond the maximum size of 40'x60' as dictated by the guidelines. Also, the companies that owned the two billboards were considered "fly-by-night" shops and are not members of the Association of Outdoor Advertisers of the Philippines. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, but property damage may be considerable.

Because of this, the DPWH has announced that it will start dismantling billboards found in violation of various outdoor advertising laws.

Why does something bad have to happen before they do something about it? If they knew that these billboards were illegal, then why haven't they taken the appropriate action? Isn't it obvious that they are way beyond the maximum size? Lampas doble, diba?

Aside from going after the billboard companies, they should also file charges against those who approved the permits and those who are responsible for monitoring compliance, whether they be from the local government or DPWH. These people really need to learn a lesson.

Anyway, we couldn't find any pics of the downed billboards so we're embedding a short news vid from GMANews.TV instead.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

In spite of the numerous MMDA enforcers stationed near Mantrade, they still can't do anything about the buses loading and unloading just after the bay station.
Unless they're willing to force the buses (and the commuters) to use the bay stations, they should just get rid of them.

Saw this convoy last night on EDSA around 6:50pm just after Pasay Rd. Two PNP bike cops escorting a whole bunch of SUVs and vans, complete with blinkers and sirens, were speeding on the outermost yellow lane and passed by a couple of MMDA enforcers, who just waved them through.
Unfortunately, I couldn't get a clear shot, but the vehicles were definitely sporting green plates (well, those that had plates attached, anyway.) Giving them the benefit of the doubt, the vehicles might have been ferrying either the Senate President or the Speaker of the House.

MMDA Executive Director Angelito Vergel de Dios has announced that they will penalize towing agencies who are found to violate their Guidelines for Towing and Impounding. According to this short article from GMANews.TV, de Dios issued the warning after learning of complaints that certain agencies were not following established procedures and have harassed drivers. Unfortunately, no details were provided on how motorists can report abuses to them.

After all this time, he only found out about this now?! Medyo out of touch 'ata s'ya. Either that or the information reaching has already been filtered by those who have interests in this line of business.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Seems like transport groups are planning a nationwide transport strike covering six major forms of transportation. No date has been set yet, though.

We're assuming that the "six major forms of transportation" mean jeepneys, metro buses, provincial buses, taxis, FX's and tricycles. Well, that is if metro and provincial buses are counted separately. If not, what's the sixth? Trains don't count 'cos they're run by the gov't. Pedicabs?

Anyway, we'll keep everyone posted on this.

So, the other oil firms did follow suit. After Chevron announced their rollback, the others also implemented a P1 rollback for gasoline, diesel and kerosene, and P0.75 for E10, despite the fact that they released an announcement earlier stating that a rollback does not seem feasible this week.

But UniOil upped the ante again by announcing that they will be implement a P2 rollback for diesel and kerosene starting tommorow morning. Gasoline isn't included, though, as the price is still lower than their competitors.

Seems like UniOil has adopted a P2 price gap policy. Hopefully, this will be the key driver to lower pump prices.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Chevron Philippines has announced that they will be rolling back prices of diesel, kerosene and gasoline by P1 starting tomorrow. Read about it here.

Good news, but it's still a far cry from what it was before. Hope the others follow suit soon.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando has announced that the MMDA will be replacing their Metro Gwapo tarpaulins with new ones. Instead of BF's serious mug, the new tarps will show him smiling. He also stated that he is using this opportunity to build a "stock of goodwill" and not as early campaigning. Read about it here.

Iba talaga 'tong si BF. Giving him credit, most, if not all, politicians try and promote themselves through their projects. That's why you see billboards with their names at construction sites, on ambulances or baranggay vehicles, or even on street lamps. It's just that BF's "project" has a much wider coverage than what we're used to. On the other hand, these tarps serve no direct purpose unlike vehicles or street lamps. This makes it a lot more "opportunistic" and "vulgar". Bottom-line, it's a waste of the government's money.

Hay naku. Ang laki ng binagsak mo, chairman. Sayang talaga.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Ang kapal talaga ng mukha nitong si MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando. Or maybe he's too stupid to know where Metro Manila borders end.

Anyway, his now-famous MMDA posters can be found in Los Banos, Laguna, despite the fact that Laguna is most definitely not a part of Metro Manila. Read about it here.

You know, we really liked BF once. We believed that his strong political will and hard-line stance would be a boon to the country. But recent happenings with these posters as well as his continuous use of PNP escorts, blinkers and sirens has shown that he's just like any other two-bit, dime-a-dozen, run-of-the-mill Philippine poliician, who puts his own needs ahead of the people.

P.S. The photo of the poster is not of those found in Laguna. If anybody out there can send us a copy, please do. Thanks!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Passed through EDSA around 4pm today and the sudden downpour brought about some light flooding. The metro's sewage system must really be in a bad condition despite MMDA's claims of progress on their flood control efforts.

Here are a few snaps:

Visibility was pretty bad
Some flooding on the yellow lanes right before the Shaw underpass
More flooding in front of SM Megamall

The people's penchant to litter plus, to some extent, all these real estate developments have really affected the metro's sewage system. The MMDA really has to step up in their clearing efforts and initiate moves to increase the number and effectivity storm drains and sewers.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Finance Secretary Margarito Teves announced that the government will be reviewing the implementing rules for the Executive Order that controls the tariff percentage applied to petroleum products. According to Teves, the rules were set when world oil prices were at $134 per barrel. Oil is now priced below $100 dollars today. Read more about it on the Inquirer here.

Uh-oh! This is a sign that the government intends to raise the tariff on oil, which will delay some of the price reductions on pump prices that we're all waiting for. This quote from Teves says it all: "What we can do is … review these guidelines. Ang direksyon po natin ay tulungan ang ating publiko and at the same time, hindi naman po malulugi ang gobyerno."

Update 10:13am:
Seems like the government has already implemented a 1% duty on oil products. It also seems that the article from the Inquirer is really vague when it comes to the details it presented. Here's a link to Business World's take on Teves' announcement.

Anyway, the EO that it is referring to is EO 691, which was enacted on January 2008. This set price levels that, if reached, would automatically reduce the 3% duty on oil products. Now that oil prices have gone below $106 per barrel (which was the price level that would trigger a reduction on oil tariff to 0%), a 1% duty is now applicable.

This puts Teves' statement in a whole new light. Maybe he is looking for a way to delay the implementation of tariffs. We suppose only time will tell.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

According to a COA ruling, the LTO Region XI office has to return P22.9M in illegally collected VAT on the so-called "computer fee" from 2003 to 2007 to the public. This will most likely take the form of a discount on future registrations, license renewals and such. Read more about it here. Region XI lang kaya ito nangyayari? Anyway, this should be good news to people in the Davao region. Although, the amounts might not really amount to much, considering today's economy and looking at what's coming in the near-future, every little bit helps.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Makati City government has announced that senior citizens who are residents are exempted from color coding within the city limits. However, in order to qualify, said residents would have to register for the BLU card program.

In terms of implementation, all that's needed is that a senior citizen with a BLU card is in the vehicle, whether as the driver or a passenger. They don't even need to own the vehicle in question. If they are apprehended, they should just present the BLU card to the apprehending enforcer and they get away scot-free.

Anyway, the rules are kinda iffy since it is most likely that their vehicle will be asked to pull over a lot. However, this is still the preferable method since having some kinda sticker would be open to abuse. It's still better than not being able to use their vehicle, though.

Read more about it here.

LTO chief Alberto Suansing has announced that they will be pushing through with the implementation of the AO 2008-015. In his talk, he mentioned that they (meaning the MMDA and local government traffic enforcement) will be apprehending motorcycle riders who:
1. Wear flip-flops, sandals, slippers or being bare-footed while riding a motorcycle in major thoroughfares.
2. Carry more than one passenger as a back rider in national and city roads.
3. Drive without a helmet.

No mention, however, was made for the need to wear leather boots and heavy pants and jackets.

Also, Suansing also said that they are junking the PNP's petition to implement a two-plate policy for motorcycles. Read more about it here.

Update, October 1, 10:50pm:
A new article on the same topic states that bikers on less busy municipal roads and barangay roads can take on more than one rider. This should be good news, somewhat, for habal-habal drivers. At least, they'll still be able to continue loading up on passengers as long as they don't go on major roads. Unfortunately, it also says that the LTO is still open to implementing a two-plate policy, pending "public consultation." Read more about it here.

Senior Deputy Minority Floor Leader Roilo Golez wants to up the speed limit "for 'through streets' or boulevards clear of traffic with no blind corners" like EDSA to 60kph for passenger cars and motorcycles and 50kph for trucks and buses. He also managed to make MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando sound like an ignorant ninny. Read the full article here.

Like we've mentioned before, we feel that a separate speed limit should be set for the yellow lanes. This makes a lot more sense compared to setting the limits based on the type of vehicle. Since most of the buses are supposed to use the yellow lanes (only provincial buses can use the regular lanes), then they will be forced to follow this. As for trucks, assuming that they are well maintained and that the drivers are well-trained, then following the standard speed limit should not be a problem.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Since October 1 has already been declared a public holiday, coding will automatically be suspended throughout the whole of Metro Manila.

Surprise, surprise! Seems like there's actually a 40kph speed limit on EDSA, which was established by Republic Act No. 4136.

But the MMDA is not enforcing this since the limit set by the law, which was first enacted on June 20, 1964, is not applicable in this day and age. According to MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando, there are so many cars that it is practically impossible for cars to reach this speed. MMDA General Manager Robert Nacianceno, on the other hand, is of the opinion that automotive safety technology has advanced enough to make this limit inapplicable. Read more about it here.

Well, we think that it's about time that the government review and revise this particular law. A 60 or even 80kph speed limit would be more applicable to major thoroughfares like EDSA. However, we feel that a separate speed limit should be applied to the yellow lanes, since driving fast on these lanes would present the most danger to pedestrians and property. In this case, a 40kph limit would probably be best.

P.S. Chairman BF's opinion is kinda short-sighted. While it is true that EDSA is congested for most of the day, it is still possible to drive way beyond the 40kph limit during certain periods of the day and most definitely on weekends. So having the right speed limit, and enforcing it, would still be appropriate.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saw this pickup on Saturday around lunch time on EDSA.How in Heaven's name can a license plate break like this accidentally?