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.