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October 18, 2016

I-ACT to Review Ongoing Road Diggings in Metro Manila  

     The Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) will be reviewing all ongoing excavations in the metropolis for possible exemption from the moratorium imposed on road diggings by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) this coming Holiday Season.
     In a meeting today with Department of Public Works and Highways-National Capital Region (DPWH-NCR) district engineers and I-ACT representative Assistant Secretary for Road Transport Mark de Leon and MMDA Traffic Engineering Center reiterated that the agency will no longer issue new permits in line with the moratorium starting November 1.
     “This (moratorium) is not to punish you but this is a way to ease the traffic condition in Metro Manila especially this coming Holiday Season when the volume of vehicular traffic usually increases,” de Leon told the district engineers.
     The district engineers could submit a list of ongoing road projects to be evaluated by the I-ACT.
    Aside from the reason why the excavation of the road is necessary, photos of the road diggings with their exact locations should be included in the request for exemption, he said.
     According to de Leon, there should be no part of the roads or thoroughfares that would be affected by the road diggings which could cause a slow down or heavy build up of traffic in the area.
   Currently, only flagship projects being undertaken by the national government are exempted from the moratorium on road excavations, including bridge repair / construction, emergency leak repairs of water concessionaires, and construction of flood interceptors.
      I-ACT also pointed out that there will be no digging or road works or repairs along the 17 Mabuhay Lanes – the designated alternate route of motorists who are avoiding EDSA.
     The I-ACT representative said the Mabuhay Lanes are continuously being cleared of illegally parked vehicles and structures and make them easily accessible to motorists.
     For his part, DPWH-NCR director Melvin Navarro said they could apply or request for partial exemption from the moratorium. “I am appealing though that if the ongoing project will not be passable even with the moratorium, let us allow that to continue so as not to extend the construction period further.”
      He noted that they would stop their private contractors from continuing the road works if it would hamper the traffic flow.
    “We won’t allow these projects to cause traffic,” Navarro said, adding that they would halt the excavations anytime.
     To date there are more than 180 drainage improvement projects all around Metro Manila.
     The road digging moratorium will start on November 1, 2016 up to January 9, 2017.

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