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.