Department of Public Works Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar yesterday said the completion of the Metro Manila Skyway-Stage 3 Project on the first half of this year will help decongest EDSA of traffic by 20 to 30 percent.
During the weekly economic briefing at the New Executive Building (NEB) in Malacañang, Villar said the project, which will help connect the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), is already 76 to 80 percent complete and is targeted to open in April 2020.
He said an estimated 100,000 cars will be relieved from EDSA which currently has a capacity of 280,000 vehicles.
The Metro Manila Skyway-Stage 3 project is an 18.3-kilometer elevated expressway from Buendia, Makati City to the North Luzon Expressway in Balintawak, Quezon City. Travel time from Buendia to Balintawak is expected to be reduced from two hours to 15 to 20 minutes.
“This is the most important, the Skyway Stage 3. It’s an 18.3-kilometer viaduct connecting NLEX to SLEX,” Villar told reporters.
“You can see the ongoing construction. When the Skyway Stage 3 has been completed, travel time from Makati to Balintawak, if you are taking EDSA, will reach almost 1-1/2 to two hours. With the Skyway, the travel time from Makati to Balintawak would be reduced to 15 to 20 minutes,” he said.
“What can we expect with the EDSA decongestion by this year? By the second half of this year, we will relieve EDSA by 20 to 30 percent. This will be a great improvement on EDSA. For the first year starting this year and in subsequent years, we will see continued improvements along EDSA,” he added.
Villar said, at present, the volume of traffic on EDSA is currently at 400,000. Thus, there is a need to greatly reduce the number of vehicles passing along the highway and lessen the travel time there.
Villar also said that as part of the Duterte administration’s EDSA decongestion program worth P384 billion, traffic along the country’s most busiest highway will greatly be relieved.
Sotto sorry over vet logo outburst
The Pasig City government, with the cooperation of the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association, Bureau of Animal Industry and Vets Love Nature, conducted free anti-rabies vaccination, spay and neuter services to dogs and cats at RAVE Rainforest Park.
“This is a matter of public health and safety. Expect more of this in the future,” Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto said.
In this regard, the mayor apologized to city officials he reprimanded due to a misunderstanding on the new logo of the City Veterinarian’s Office.
He said the new logo had the letter “V” displayed prominently, which he thought referred to his name.
“The City Veterinarian’s Office has just been reorganized, since it is important to improve veterinary services. But when I first saw the logo, I was so furious!,” Sotto said in a Facebook post.
“I thought it had a double meaning for ‘vet’ and ‘Vico.’ The whole city knows I forbid that, especially if it involves taxpayers’ money,” he explained.
The city veterinarian immediately explained to him that the logo is the symbol used for veterinary medicine worldwide.
“I Googled it, and from the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association to the one in America, that’s what they use. Just try Googling it,” Sotto said.
Just the same, he said he had the logo changed to the new one.
“It’s now even cute,” he stressed.
The mayor said residents should expect better services from the city vet, including meat inspection, and spay and neuter services for dogs and cats to ensure the health and safety of every Pasigueño.
Shabu worth P136K seized
Three suspects were arrested during a buy-bust operation in Quezon City with suspected shabu worth P136,000 confiscated from their possession by the Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) of Talipapa Police Station (PS3) under P/Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bilaro.
The suspects were identified as Analisa Alicaway, alias Abby, 38, and Joel Rosario, 23, both from Barangay Culiat in Quezon City.
An undercover operative bought from the suspects P1,200 worth of shabu at around midnight on 19 September at Barangay Culiat, leading to their arrest.
Recovered were 10 grams of suspected shabu, valued at P68,000, and the buy-bust money used in the operation.
Meanwhile, another sting saw the arrest of Perwin Persinita, 34, at around 7:30 p.m. on 18 September at Sitio Lower Barimbao, Barangay Pasong Tamo.
An agent bought P500 worth of shabu from the suspect, which resulted in his arrest.
Seized from his possession were 10 grams of suspected shabu valued at P68,000, a digital weighing scale and the buy-bust money.
The suspects will be charged with violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Moriones Top 6 most wanted nabbed
Police Station 2 (PS2) of the Manila Police District (MPD) arrested the Top 6 in their list of notorious drug pushers operating in the Moriones area of Tondo, Manila at early dawn on Saturday.
P/Lt. Col. Magno Mallora Jr., PS2 chief, identified the suspect as Christopher Otlang, 30, a resident of Kagitingan Matimtiman Street in Barangay 29, Zone II, Tondo.
He was arrested with Jasper Suico, 23, residing at Angalo Street, Binondo.
The suspects were arrested following a buy-bust operation where an agent bought from them three sachets of suspected shabu.
Seized from their possession were 8.5 grams of suspected shabu valued at P57,800.
They will be slapped with charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 at the Manila City Prosecutor’s Office
Inmate dies while seeking medical aid
A person deprived of liberty reportedly died as he was waiting treatment at the Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH).
The detainee was identified as Reynaldo Cabanban, 32, a resident of Avocado Street, Pingkian 3, Barangay Pasong Tamo.
Cabanban was apprehended by personnel of the Talipapa Police Station on 31 August for theft.
Station commander P/Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bilaro said his men conducted a medical assessment of Cabanban on 17 September. After experiencing difficulty breathing, he was taken to Novaliches District Hospital for a checkup and treatment.
The detainee was diagnosed with pneumonia and given a medical prescription by the attending physician. However, he was immediately discharged as the hospital could no longer accommodate patients.
Instead of returning him to the station, Cabanban was brought to QCGH for further treatment.
However, he was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician at the hospital.
Check free ride routes online
Health workers who intend to avail of the Department of Transportation’s (DoTr) Free Ride for Health Workers Program may determine the routes of the shuttle service through the Sakay.ph website at https://covid19.sakay.ph.
The routes, which cover the National Capital Region and Greater Manila Area, ferry health workers to major destinations and health institutions.
The routes are available 24/7 and follow the strict health and safety protocols mandated by the national government.
The 20 routes are: (1) Meralco (Malanday) to United Doctors Medical Center; (2) Valenzuela Gateway Complex to United Doctors Medical Center; (3) SM City San Jose del Monte to Centris; (4) SM Masinag to The Medical City Ortigas; (5) Ortigas Hospital and Healthcare Center to Rizal Medical Center; (6) MRT 3 Cubao to Philippine General Hospital via MRT 3 Centris Station; (7) Pasig City General Hospital to Makati Medical Center; (7A) Medical City Ortigas to VRP Medical Center; (8) Starmall Alabang to St. Luke’s Medical Center-BGC; (9) Vista Mall Daang Hari to United Doctors Medical Center; (10) RITM to Starmall Alabang; (11) Starmall Alabang to Manila Doctors Hospital; (12) Dasmariñas Pala-Pala to Manila Doctor’s Hospital; (13) Starmall Alabang to Sea Oil Imus Daang Hari/Aguinaldo; (14) SM City Taytay to St. Luke’s Medical Center-QC; (15) SLEX Sucat Exit to Philippine General Hospital; (16) MRT-3 Cubao to Philippine General Hospital; (17) SM City San Jose del Monte to SM Fairview/Commonwealth Hospital and Medical Center; (198) LRT-1 Monumento to Baclaran Market; (19) First Cabuyao Hospital and Medical Center to Starmall Alabang; and (20) SM City Masinag to Lawton.
For questions regarding routes and schedules, call the Bus Staging Area Hotlines at: Routes 1 and 2 (NW), VGC Staging Area, 0927-3806924; Routes 3 and 17 (NW), 4, 5, 14, 16 and 20 (East), 6, 7 and 7A (Central), LTO Central Staging Area, 0956-7161611, 0961-5966178; Routes 8, 10, 11 and 19 (SE), 13 (South) Starmall Alabang Staging Area, 0907-4592397; and Routes 9 and 12 (SE), 15 (South), 18 (EDSA), PITX Staging Area, 0977-7149837.
Cops serve arrest warrants
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) yesterday arrested its Top 9 most wanted person.
The Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) under P/Maj. Elmer Monsalve identified the suspect as Andres Soriano, 44, of Barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches.
He had an arrest warrant for theft at the QC Metropolitan Trial Court, with bail recommended at P20,000.
Soriano was arrested at 3 p.m. on 18 September along Kamuning Road. He was listed as the district level Top 9 most wanted person by the CIDU.
Meanwhile, the CIDU arrested Carl John Pinangay, 21, from Barangay Bagong Pag-asa by the virtue of an arrest warrant.
He was arrested at 12:30 p.m. on 18 September at Puno Street, San Roque 2 in Barangay Bagong Pag-asa.
Pinangay face charges for violation of Republic Act 7610, issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 78, with bail recommended at P200,000.
Body left on QC road
The body of an unidentified person was found along Seminary Road in Barangay Bahay Toro, Quezon City on Friday morning.
The man’s lifeless body was discovered at 10:15 a.m. on 18 September, but was only reported to the Talipapa Police Station at 1:40 p.m.
Authorities are now inquiring about the victim’s family or if anyone is looking for their loved one.
Isko defends broadcast journalist
Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has appealed to bloggers covering the events of the Manila City local government to refrain from hitting broadcaster Karen Davila in their posts.
In his Friday night state of the city address, the mayor asked the bloggers to understand the job of journalists.
“I am asking the bloggers, I implore you. Let us not stimulate hate. Karen Davila is just one of the many journalists who provide the public news stories. She is just doing her job,” Domagoso stated.
“While we appreciate your contribution to informing the people on what is happening now in the city, as we progress, we must be responsible individuals. Let us not allow hate to take root,” he continued.
“But to crucify them because they are just doing their jobs is also not ideal,” he added.
Some bloggers perceive Davila to be biased and unfair against all the effort Domagoso is doing for the city.
Four more Taguig areas under lockdown
After it failed to identify the source of coronavirus disease transmission in areas in Barangay Sta. Ana, the Taguig City local government has expanded a localized quarantine to cover four more areas in the said neighborhood.
An advisory from the Taguig Safe City Task Force said areas affected by the expanded localized community quarantine (LCQ), in effect from 6 p.m., 18 September, until 30 September, are Pulong Kendi 2, Samasipat, Faculty Street and Romantic Street.
Previously, Pulong Kendi 2 and Samasipat were placed under LCQ from 8 to 23 September due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in these areas.
In a meeting on 16 and 17 September, the task force said its data has not identified the source of the transmission and clear identifiers that the spread of the disease has been controlled.
However, it did not release the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the four areas.