Thursday, January 31, 2008

Traffic violators who have unpaid fines with the MMDA will soon be unable to renew their driver's licenses and vehicle registrations with the LTO, with the upcoming implementation of a technology tie-up with the MMDA. The system will allow LTO branches nationwide to cross-check driver's license numbers and plate numbers against the MMDA database and disapprove renewals should these prove to have pending violations.

Finally, the government is making good use of technology to make themselves more efficient. The LTO should actually do this with the local government units as well, since they also have their own enforcing and ticketing systems.

Anyway, click here to read the full article.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Death threats for Oplan Isnabero chief
Fernando Quiambao, LTO's Oplan Isnabero chief and executive assistant of Reynaldo Berroya, has been receiving SMS death threats through their hotline.

Kawawa naman. They should track the numbers used and go after these bastards.

Traffic channel proposed by MMDA
MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando is currently in talks with SkyCable to acquire a cable channel to broadcast traffic conditions.

Now, how useful can this really be? For those who check out the traffic situation on the tube before leaving their houses, the conditions will most likely have changed by the time they reach those areas. And since it's cable, portable TVs inside the cars can't pick it up. Maybe the MMDA should concentrate their resources on something a lot more useful, don't you think?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Found this totally unrelated thing while searching the 'net for the official guidelines for commemorative plates.

Anyway, it's a press release from the PNP last October regarding the use of their motorcycles. Basically, it says:
1. PNP motorcycles cannot be used as escorts for weddings, birthdays and funerals. They can only be used as escorts by "the President and other high-ranking officials of the land and foreign dignitaries are people needing immediate medical attentions or emergency assistance such as victims of accidents, calamities and other similar cases."
2. All riders, whether they be the driver and backriders, should always wear the proper PNP uniform and prescribed helmets. -- We suppose this means that civilians cannot ride unless it's an emergency.
3. PNP motorcycles being used in patrols should have license plates attached to them at all times. -- Shouldn't all PNP vehicles have red plates? We've seen quite a few PNP-driven bikes that are outfitted like official bikes, but are actually underpowered and have green plates. Are these official?

So if you guys see any violators, take a pic and send it in!

P.S. Can't seem to find any official commemorative plates guidelines. The closest we got to is this.

No headlights, no entry in QC
An ordinance is being proposed by QC councilor Victor Ferrer, Jr., which requires all vehicles traversing QC streets to have working headlights and other safety lights.

You mean this isn't required by law already?

New bridges connecting Makati, Pasig, Marikina planned
The Pasig City government has allocated P500 million to construct two new bridges, connecting Makati and Marikina to the city, according to Pasig Mayor Robert Eusebio. These will be built along the Floodway going to Marikina and along Pineda to Guadalupe Bridge to Makati.

Hopefully, this will ease up traffic on Ortigas.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mayor Alfredo Lim is thinking of banning all provincial buses from Southern Luzon from the city of Manila. If this pushes through, this will be the second time that he will be implementing this, the first time during his last term as Manila mayor in the '90s.

The whole Metro Manila should do this, not just Manila. They should start building gigantic bus stations in Balintawak and Alabang, and have them stop there. Then they should support these stations with MRT stations.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The guys noticed that a lot of the people visiting the site were searching for rules on the MMDA's UVVRP. So, we decided to take a look at the MMDA's site and post whatever they have there here.

The UVVRP is in effect from 7:00am to 10:00am and 3:00pm to 7:00pm, Mondays to Fridays, for all cities in Metro Manila, EXCEPT for Marikina, Pasig and Paranaque, which have opted not to implement the program. Also, for the cities of Makati, Malabon and Las Pinas, the UVVRP is in effect from 7:00am to 7:00pm, effectively removing the 10:00am to 3:00pm window. However, the main thoroughfares of EDSA, C5 and Macapagal Ave. passing through these cities are exempted from the UVVRP during the window hours of 10:00am to 3:00pm. The UVVRP is also automatically suspended on regular and special holidays for all cities in the metro.

For those who may be unaware, vehicles with plate numbers ending in 1 and 2 are not allowed on the road during these times on Mondays, 3 and 4 on Tuesdays, 5 and 6 on Wednesdays, 7 and 8 on Thursdays and 9 and 0 on Fridays. If the vehicle has not yet been issued a license plate, the last number on the conduction sticker will be used instead.

As for exemptions, there are a lot of these, and the language used is kinda daunting. Here's our attempt to summarize the ones that are contestable. However, note that enforcers can still stop you anytime to confirm whether an exemption applies.

1. Medical practitioners can use their vehicles only if they are responding to medical emergencies. So, being late for the clinic, going home from the hospital or picking up the kids from school does not count, even if you have an MD or Doctor on Call signboard on the vehicle.

2. Media personalities can use their vehicles only if they are on official duties and they display a signboard showing the media agency that they represent. Note that enforcers have the right to confirm this with the concerned media agency, although it is doubtful that they will do this.

3. Non-emergency government vehicles, whether they have the appropriate markings, plates, stickers or otherwise, need to present a duly approved itinerary of travel or trip ticket. If the vehicle does not sport red plates, they also have to present registration papers showing that the vehicle is government-owned.

4. For people who own multiple vehicles bearing the same ending number, they can apply for a permanent exemption for their other vehicle(s) as long as they are all registered under a single name. We are not sure though whether they will be provided with a certificate or if an official sticker, signboard or whatever will have to be displayed on the vehicle or if they will be assigned another number that will apply to the UVVRP. If you ask us, it's better just to apply for a change in plate number. Much less confusing for both the owner and the enforcers.

5. Partial exemptions are also provided to vehicles of members of the Integrated Metro Bus Operators Association, Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines and the Southern Luzon Bus Operators Association, as long as the corresponding MMDA-issued stickers are displayed. What "partial exemption" means or why these people deserve an exemption, we have no idea.

6. All motorcycles are exempted from the UVVRP.

People can also apply for a one-day exemption at the MMDA, but only on the day before they desired exemption date. The MMDA Chairman can also issue exemption certificates based on "highly exceptional circumstances."

Now if you are apprehended, enforcers will confiscate your license and issue you a ticket carrying a fine of P300.00. Based on experience and feedback from the enforcers themselves, once you get caught and are issued a ticket, you can now use your vehicle for the rest of the day. If you're caught again, just show them the ticket and they'll let you go. Which is pretty dumb, in our opinion.

Anyway, for the complete list of exemptions, here is a link to the MMDA's latest regulation covering the UVVRP.

Finally, using commemorative plates DOES NOT, in any circumstance, exempt vehicles from the UVVRP. Though it does make it harder for them to catch you.

Hope this clarifies things for everyone.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Saw this MMDA mini-truck with a flat tire just after the corner of Pioneer on northbound EDSA late afternoon yesterday.
There was an MMDA tow truck there, but it seems they weren't there to tow the truck away.

If it was a regular car, I'm sure the MMDA tow truck would already have attached their watchamacalit and towed it away.

The MMDA will implement their electronic bus routing system this February, using an RFID microchip to track bus movements on the metro's main thoroughfares. Supposedly, this will help them control the number of buses plying the roads and catch colorum buses. Based on their estimates, this system will supposedly cut down traffic by 50%.

Bus operators, on the other hand, have expressed concerns on the cost of installing the microchip and has requested that the MMDA should ensure that it should be affordable, or even provided for free. Also, they are afraid that once colorum buses have been taken out, "traffic law enforcers, to meet their day's 'quota,' will resort to taking aim at legal operators even for petty violations".

The funny thing about this is that the example that Claire dela Fuente, Integrated Metro Bus Operation Association president, to illustrate this point was "May konting basag lang ang windshield side mirrors, huhulihin na." I don't think that's petty, considering that being able to see behind you is very important to safe driving, diba?

Anyway, to read more about this, check out these articles from ABS-CBN News and GMA News.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Read that the MMDA also considers the "encroachment of roads and easements by shops, itinerant vendors and slum dwellers" a major contributor to traffic build-up. They specifically mentioned those places that use the sidewalks and roads as parking slots for their establishments, even going as far as placing signages to prevent non-customers from parking there. MMDA's Executive Director Angelito Vergel de Dios stated that he will be urging the mayors to deny renewal of the business permits of these violators.

This seems like a good move, but it is highly unlikely that we will see any real response to this call, at least in the near future.

Anyway, read more about it here. Note that the article is mainly about the MMDA's RFID initiative for PUBs, so just go straight to the bottom.

Saw this guy in Tramo yesterday afternoon.
I think the plate number is ZBL-558.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A traffic jam lasting four hours at the C5 exit of the SLEx was caused by 14 drivers who passed on the E-pass lane without an E-pass, prompting tollgate personnel to confiscate their licenses. The drivers, in turn, complained that SLEx personnel are not deputized by the PNP or the MMDA, giving them no authority to confiscate their driver's licenses.

C'mon, one or two or maybe even five of these may actually be unaware of the E-pass lane, but I'm pretty sure the rest were. They were just trying to get ahead of the line (which is typical Filipino mentality) and got caught doing it.

Anyways, click here to read the full article.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Police car involved in accident
A jeepney crashed into the side of a police car at the corner of Aurora and Balete around 11:30am today. According to the jeepney driver, the police car allegedly beat the red light. Also, he claims that the blinker and siren were only turned on after the accident. Anyway, the traffic investigator said that the jeepney driver may be charged with "reckless imprudence resulting in multiple injuries and damage to government property."

I actually believe the jeepney driver's story. I've seen too many police vehicles, both cars and motorcycles, ignoring stoplights, no left turns, no u-turns, one ways, etc., for no particular reason aside from their own convenience.

Impounded taxis found to have tampered engine numbers
The LTO has reported that 14 out of 85 taxis currently impounded were found to have tampered engine and chassis numbers, leading them to believe that these were stolen.

For details on the plate, engine and chassis numbers of these taxis, check out the article. You never know, you might find your long, lost, stolen vehicle.

MMDA and Pasay fight over DFA parking
Pasay mayor Peewee Trinidad criticized the MMDA after 8 MMDA enforcers issued tickets to 42 vehicles belonging to officials, employees and visitors of the DFA parked on the service road of Roxas Blvd. According to the mayor, that area has long been used as a parking area by the DFA, and is supposedly covered by a city ordinance that provides free parking to DFA officials, employees and visitors. The Pasay Traffic and Parking Management Office wanted to file a case against the 8 enforcers but backed off after the enforcers took back the tickets they issued. MMDA chariman Bayani Fernando responded that if their enforcers were arrested, they would file their own charges.

In the first place, the DFA should develop their own parking area. Roxas Blvd. is one of the metro's major thoroughfares and experiences heavy traffic all the time. Isn't the public interest more important than the convenience of these officials?

Friday, January 18, 2008

The MMDA has announced that the construction of an elevated u-turn at the C5-Kalayaan intersection will begin next month and is targeted to be completed by June of this year. According to BF, this option was taken as it is cheaper than constructing an underpass.

I think this will take place of the current ground level u-turn slot that vehicles (mostly jeepneys) heading towards EDSA use to cross C5, but I'm not sure. Just wondering why they didn't opt for a flyover on C5 crossing Kalayaan instead. I would've thought that that would have been a better option, traffic-wise, 'cos then you get rid of the need for any u-turn slot.
Anyway, here's the link to the article.

P.S. It's a slow news day today.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

After witnessing the towing of a car in front of Starbucks Leviste, I decided to search for any guidelines on towing in Makati (see my post here).

Anyway, found MMDA's guidelines on their site. Item 7.3 under the section discussing procedures clearly states "If the vehicle is unattended, the tow truck driver shall blow the truck's horn five (5) times twice in a row with a space of one minute in between. If the owner does not respond, the vehicle will be towed." Which means that these guys didn't follow procedure.

Not sure though if these rules are valid in Makati, though. Alam mo naman doon, iba sila.

Anyway, to see the full details of MMDA's towing guidelines, click this link.

Here's a list of valid commemorative plates, which was flashed on a TV report regarding the issue with the BINAY 2010 plate. I believe these were based on LTO's official listing.

Valid until June 1, 2008

Valid until December 31, 2008

Valid until December 31, 2008

Valid until December 31, 2008

Valid until December 31, 2008

Valid until December 31, 2008

Valid until December 31, 2008

Valid until May 25, 2009

Here's the video:

By the way, the BINAY 2010 plates have not been approved by the LTO, so having one on your car is considered to be a traffic violation.

Pending bill to make helmets mandatory
Sen. Bong Revilla Jr. has filed a bill to make helmets mandatory for all motorcycle and scooter riders, including passengers. Tricycle drivers, however, are exempted.

Huh? You mean it isn't mandatory right now?

LTO centralizes registration of imported vehicles
LTO chief Reynaldo Berroya has announced that, starting immediately, the initial registration of all imported new and used vehicles will have to be done with the central office. Imports made under the government's Motor Vehicle Development Program (which I suppose are those imported by those with local manufacturing facilities, but I may be wrong) are exempted.

So mababawasan na yung mga bagong exotic cars dito sa 'pinas.

Gov't claims diesel to go down by P1
Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes has announced that they expect diesel prices to go down by as much as P1 per liter anytime between February 1 and 15. This will be a result of the 2 percentage point reduction in petroleum products that he will be endorsing. No reduction of unleaded is expected as savings on these will be used to subsidize diesel prices. Oil firms, however, have announced that prices of other petroleum products may be increased to make up for current under-recoveries.

Lahat nito, dahil kay George W. Hehehe.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rerouting at Ayala Center
Due to a planned construction of an access ramp to Glorietta V, Hotel Drive, the road right in front of Hotel Intercontinental will be reduced to a single lane. Construction will begin on January 21 and is expected to end by the end of of April.

Check out the article for more information on the rerouting.

Binay 2010 commemorative plates not valid in Makati
Mayor Jejomar Binay has announced that the Binay 2010 commemorative plates will not be recognized in Makati City. According to him, he is not in any way connected, nor given consent, to the group that is releasing these plates. He also stressed that the city's traffic code does not recognize ANY commemorative plate and may earn the driver a fine of P2,000.00 and confiscation of the said plate.

Hehehe. Classic guerrilla marketing technique.

MMDA's u-turn slots and concrete barriers make driving instructors' jobs more difficult
Driving instructors are having a difficult time teaching their students how to deal with the u-turn slots and concrete barriers that the MMDA has been setting up all over the metro, since the LTO does not mention these on their standard driver's manual.

Hay naku. How difficult can it be? First, ALWAYS follow the lane lines. Second, ALWAYS stay on the outermost lane (barring the yellow lanes) and transfer to the next innermost lane only if overtaking. Third, ease into the appropriate lane around 200-300 meters when approaching the u-turn, intersection, turn-off, ramp, exit, access road, barriers, whatever that they will be taking (or avoiding, as the case may be). Third, ALWAYS use your signal light when changing lanes. And use it BEFORE you actually change lanes and not during. Fourth, stay on the leftmost lane if turning left on the next intersection, or the rightmost lane if turning right. Fifth, if traffic is merging from two lanes to one, always follow the alternating rule. Sixth, be courteous to other drivers and avoid inconveniencing others. Last, the pedestrian always has right of way, even if they are jaywalking.

Just imagine how much better driving will be if all drivers follow these simple rules.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Had a meeting this afternoon at Starbucks in Leviste, and I witnessed a car getting towed. Man, ang bilis! I think the whole thing lasted under 3 minutes, from the time they arrived to the time they pulled out with the car.
Anyway, aren't there rules that these guys are supposed to "attempt" to look for the driver of the vehicle for a certain number of minutes before they tow the vehicle. If somebody has a link to the rules governing this, please send it to us so we can post it here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Saw these guys on Ortigas Ave. at around 2:30pm.
Maski na angkas lang, dapat may helmet, diba?

The fire that hit the residences in Laperal St., Guadalupe Viejo, really effed up traffic today. It's located right behind Loyola on EDSA.

I can understand that traffic on the southbound lanes would be affected by this, with all the firemen and their trucks, the police managing traffic, the ever-present media, and the people affected by the fire. What I can't understand is why does it have to affect the northbound lanes. Hindi naman kita yung sunog kasi nakaharang yung MRT. It took me around an hour to get from the middle of the Ayala-EDSA underpass to Guadalupe this morning.

Mga usisero talaga. Tama na 'yan!

Anyway, here's a link to an article on the Inquirer.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Well, big white bikes mean PNP, right? Anyway, this guy was seen making a u-turn at the Ortigas Ave.-Lanuza intersection.
Obviously, there is a no u-turn sign there, which is why I am posting this. Tapos, wala pang helmet.

Too bad you can't make out the plate number.

This guy was seen on EDSA heading towards the MMDA building.
May helmet ngang dala, di naman ginagamit.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Quiapo traffic rerouted due to Black Nazarene
With the Feast of the Black Nazarene being celebrated today, traffic in Quiapo has been rerouted. Check the article for details on the rerouting scheme.

MMDA's pink line parking scheme
The MMDA has begun pilot testing their new pink line parking scheme on EDSA. The line is supposed to clearly delineate where the road ends and the sidewalk begins, and is targeted to curb illegal parking on major roads.

Kaya dapat walang tatawid sa pink line. Ang muhuling tumawid, bading!

MMDA likes motorcycles
The MMDA is NOT in favor of banning motorcycles from major roads. However, this doesn't mean that they will be providing exclusive lanes for them.

Considering that the majority of their enforcers get around on bikes, it'll be really stupid of them to support the proposed bill to ban them. Dapat talaga, hulihin na lang nila ang dapat hulihin para mabawasan ang mga aksidente.

One percentage point reduction in oil tariff planned
A one percentage point reduction in oil tariff has been announced by GMA today, in an effort to cushion the impact rising world oil prices on the local economy. Also, she has asked the oil companies to use the savings from the tax cut to bring down prices of diesel, instead of applying it across the board to all fuel products.

Another article also mentioned that despite the tariff cut, pump prices are still expected to rise on January 15.

Considering that our pump prices are among the highest in the region, I'm pretty sure there are a lot of other things that they can do bring prices down.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Good manners and right conduct course for Manila traffic cops
Mayor Alfredo Lim announced that a monthly seminar on these, as well as traffic management, will be held for Manila's traffic enforcers. He also mentioned that "the priority of traffic enforcers should not be in issuing traffic citation tickets but to manage traffic."

This is good. Maybe it'll help reduce the number of heated exchanges that occur between them and drivers.

Discount on fuel extended to January 15
Eastern Petroleum and Unioil has extended their P1.00 and P0.50 discount for gas and diesel, respectively, 'til January 15.

Seems like we can expect a new round of price hikes after the 15th due to the recent surges in world oil prices. So, gas up now!

Oplan Isnabero complainants have to show up
LTO chief Reynaldo Berroya calls on complainants to show up at the hearings against the taxi drivers they reported under Oplan Isnabero.

I suppose this means that if you don't show up, they can't prosecute.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sana naman maayos na 'tong kalye dito. Halos lahat ng kotse na pumapasok sa C. Benitez, sinasakop yung kabilang lane para maiwasan yung butas. Nakakaharang tulong sa mga lumalabas papuntang Santolan.
Ang tanong lang ay kaninong responsibilidad ba talaga ito? Nasa border ng San Juan at Quezon City kasi itong kalyeng 'to.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Areas near bus terminals clogged
The TMG has been ordered by the PNP to be on their toes as traffic builds up on roads in and around the metro's bus terminals as people start coming back from (and going back to) the provinces after the holidays.

I suppose the situation in these areas will be bad until next Monday.

MMDA seeks cancellation of ES Transport bus franchise
Due to the closure of ES Transport's bus terminal, the MMDA is requesting the LTFRB to cancel the bus company's franchise. The terminal, which is along EDSA near the Cubao area, was closed by the MMDA last December 23. ES Transport was one of eleven bus companies that were mandated by the MMDA last September to improve their terminals in order to reduce their impact on traffic when going in and out of the terminals.

Public schools to resume on January 3
Over 50,000 public schools nationwide will resume classes starting tomorrow. The majority of private schools, however, will resume classes on Monday, January 7.

So expect traffic to start getting heavier and heavier beginning tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Eastern Petroleum extends P1 discount for 6 more days
Eastern Petroleum's discount of P1 for gas and P0.50 for diesel is extended until January 6. No word from Petron or Unioil, though.

PNCC Strike closes Skyway for 2 hours
Around 100 employees marched on the Skyway this morning, totally blocking off all northbound traffic. One thing to note here is that the article mentions that "with the Citra takeover, SLEx toll fees would increase by more than 100 percent." Another article stated that "Citra would be allowed to jack up its collection by up to 150 percent."

Patay na naman ang mga taga south!

Isang paalala lang po. Paki linis naman ng mga gamit na paputok sa mga kalye ninyo, at nakakaabala po ito sa mga dumadaan.