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Baclaran acid test for MMDA road decongestion campaign

  • Written by Mario Fetalino Jr.
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 342

THERE was something different when I went to work in Manila last Wednesday. Passing along Roxas Blvd. in Baclaran,  Parañaque, I noticed traffic was flowing as if there was no mass in Baclaran church.

Usually during Wednesdays, traffic in that area doesn’t move because all kinds of PUVs including buses and jeeneys converge infront of the church to pick up passengers.

And even when it’s not Wednesday, heavy traffic still persists in Baclaran because many parts of the locality were turned into havens for illegal terminals and illegal vendors.
My observation was probably due to the effort of the Metro Manila Development Authority to fix  traffic woes in the metropolis.

MMDA chief Tim Orbos recently got President Rodrigo Duterte’s full backing to do whatever is necessary to declog the congested roads of Metro Manila.
With Duterte’s support, Orbos said he has no more reasons to fail in his mission. The changes I saw in Baclaran appear to suggest that Manong Tim could be making good in his promise. I really do hope he can sustain this early MMDA success.
Baclaran could be the acid test for Orbos’ serious drive against illegal terminals and illegal vendors. If he can get rid of them in Baclaran, he can do the same in other areas of the metropolis.
Keeping up the campaign should not be difficult because I believe that when Duterte said Orbos has his full support, the chief executive meant the MMDA chief can ask all the help he needs from Malacañang.
So if Manong Tim  needs to fight  the big syndicates behind the so-called untouchable illegal terminals and illegal vendors, he can request the President to let the PNP and AFP  deal with them.
That’s how MMDA should address the horrific traffic situation in our major thoroughfares. Orbos should maximize Duterte’s influence over the law enforcement agencies to implement road regulations.
Continue the good work, MMDA.

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A trip to Bolinao, Pangasinan taught me that the famous tourist spot Hundred Islands is a national park. A national park is an area of land that is owned and protected by a national government because of its natural beauty or its importance to history or science.
The Hundred Islands definitely shine as a natural beauty but I’m not sure if the government which owns the tourist destination is doing its job to protect it.
I was saddened to see the national park’s beaches littered with plastic containers and wrappers that obviously came from tourists who were unmindful of the basic practices  on cleanliness.
Apparently missing were the people from the National Park Development Committee or the Department of Environment and Natural Resources who I believe can enforce regulation within the protected area.
Uniformed officers from such government offices can patrol the Hundred Islands to make sure tourists treat the environment properly.  I’m pretty sure they won’t mind being reminded how to be friendly with mother nature.
Tourism has been cited as one of the growth drivers for our improving economy under the Duterte administration.  While we are seeing this coming, it is of paramount importance that the government take steps to preserve our environment especially the national parks so that tourists would continue to visit the Philippines.

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