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Mass Transit System to rise in Pampanga Spearheaded by SGMA

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Pampanga may soon have its mass transit system as part of the government’s bid to decongest Metro Manila and spread development to the provinces.

In a meeting Tuesday, former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was briefed by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on an ongoing study for the proposed Pampanga Mass Transit System.

Speaker Arroyo had said she will help in the implementation of the Megalopolis plan in Pampanga after she steps down from the House of Representatives on June 30. The Megalopolis project seeks to make Pampanga the gateway to Asia through the development of cluster cities (agriculture, ecology, air transportation and marine life) focusing on specific areas and technologies. One of the main components of the Megalopolis project is to ensure an efficient, reliable and sustainable transportation system in and around Pampanga.

Presented by the study’s team leader Dr. Hussein Lidasan, the study seeks to ascertain the viability of a mass transit system in the province of Pampanga and the appropriate low-carbon technology that would ensure an efficient intermodal transport system.

The project hopes to establish a transit system that will: 1) guarantee inclusive mobility and accessibility in the province; 2) provide connectivity to urban center, production areas, residential areas, commercial and industrial centers and institutional and services areas; 3) be anchored on clean technology for an environmentally sustainable province; and 4) be supported by smart technology system for efficient and reliable operation and efficient fare collection system.

Lidasan said that the study analyzed the traffic-generating land use of the province such as malls, schools, and government agencies and evaluated the major road networks to be connected by the mass transit system.

It also surveyed the existing transport systems by determining the volume count and passenger occupancy along the routes plied in Pampanga. It showed that among the routes that see the highest vehicle count are the Mabalacat City-San Fernando City and Lubao-San Fernando City routes.

Lidasan said that value engineering/value analysis (VE/VA) was conducted to figure out the alignment of the transport system needed.

“The VE/VA is an analysis wherein we will look at the best way of meeting the objectives without necessarily reducing the cost or increasing the cost, but to look at the value that will meet the objectives of our project,” Lidasan said.

The VE/VA analysis led to an alignment value proposition that will serve 16 municipalities and cities of Pampanga and support sustainable growth and development in the province as it takes into consideration high traffic volume and the Pampanga Megalopolis Plan.

Key considerations of the alignment include Clark, as one of the key development attractions in the province; the three possible major stations in Apalit, San Fernando, and Angeles; and the proposed Clark Railway Project.

Lidasan said that the next steps of the study will focus on transport demand forecast, technology selection, key informant interviews and focus group discussions, and stakeholder consultations.
The transport demand forecast, in particular, shall help the team determine the kind of mass transit system that would best serve Pampanga.

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Concept

“For example, nakita natin ang kailangan pala is more of a commuter line. Then that will either be LRT (light rail system) or a medium rail system. And it will accommodate approximately 400,000 to 750,000 people. If it is a feeder line, it would be a monorail or BRT (bus rapid transit),” Lidasan said.

He ventured that a BRT system might be the most efficient option for Pampanga as it is the best system for a daily traffic demand of less than 400,000 person-trips per day.

The submission of the draft final report of the study is slated on the second week of October 2019, while the revised final report shall be submitted after the receipt of comments from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Meanwhile, findings and proposals shall be presented to the local government officials and relevant stakeholders of Pampanga ‪on June 28, 2019‬.

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  1. Kenton Kleeman

    November 21, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

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2020 Public Holidays

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The regular holidays are:

January 1, 2020, Wednesday – New Year’s Day
April 9, 2020, Thursday – Araw ng Kagitingan
April 9, 2020 – Maundy Thursday
April 10, 2020 – Good Friday
May 1, 2020, Friday – Labor Day
June 12, 2020, Friday – Independence Day
August 31, 2020, last Monday of August – National Heroes’ Day
November 30, 2020, Monday – Bonifacio Day
December 25, 2020, Friday – Christmas Day
December 30, 2020, Wednesday – Rizal Day

Special non-working days:

January 25, 2020, Saturday – Chinese New Year
February 25, 2020, Tuesday – EDSA Revolution Anniversary
April 11, 2020 – Black Saturday
August 21, 2020, Friday – Ninoy Aquino Day
November 1, 2020, Sunday – All Saints’ Day
December 8, 2020, Tuesday – Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary
December 31, 2020, Thursday – last day of the year

Additional special non-working holidays:

November 2, 2020, Monday
December 24, 2020, Thursday

Malacañang will issue proclamations to declare national holidays for Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha after the approximate dates of the Islamic holidays have been determined.

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Philippines eyes bid to host 2030 Asian Games

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MANILA, Philippines — Even before the conclusion of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, the government is already setting its sights on the Asian Games a decade away.

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), said yesterday he would make the proposal to President Duterte.

“I’m preparing a long memo to the President to ask if we can bid (for the 2030 Asian Games). If we do win that bid, the host will be the administration after the next administration. So we will have a good 10-year period to prepare,” Cayetano said in an interview.

The opening ceremony of the SEA Games on Nov. 30 has won praise, although it has not been free of controversy. Cayetano believes that hosting another international event would be a good investment for the country.

“Remember, in 2023, we will host the basketball World Cup. And in 2016 or 2017 we hosted the World Cup in volleyball. Industry-wise, this will bring in big money and employment opportunities to Filipinos if we develop our sports tourism,” he stressed.

The Speaker said he had discussed the matter with the Philippine Olympic Committee president and Cavite 8th district Rep. Bambol Tolentino, who favored the proposal.

Cayetano suggested that the Duterte administration may pass on the bid to the next administration, and then to the next administration that would be in charge of the hosting.

“What is advantageous with the Asian Games is that venues need not be just in Luzon, and you can actually build facilities in the Visayas and Mindanao,” the representative of Taguig and Pateros pointed out, Philippine Star reports.

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DENR shuts down 4 open dump sites in Pampanga

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga—The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shuts down last week four illegally operating dump sites in this province.

Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Unit Concerns, issued the cease-and-desist order (CDO) against the City of San Fernando, and municipal governments of Bacolor and Porac for operating the illegal dump sites.

The open dump sites were located at Lara village in City of San Fernando, Maliwalo in Bacolor town, and barangays San Jose Matli and Matli Dos, both in the town of Porac.

“Poor waste management at dump sites poses serious threats, not just to the environment, but also to public health. That is why, we are taking our messaging to uphold proper waste disposal to a higher level to encourage communities, especially our local government units, to not make open fields as repository areas for wastes,” he said.

Under the law, establishment and maintenance of an open dumpsite is strictly prohibited.

The DENR found mixed garbage of plastics, diapers, polystyrene and even hospital wastes like syringes and tubings in the dump site.

Antiporda said the DENR is keeping an eye on the operations of illegal dump sites, since it bears a serious impact on the ongoing cleanup and rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

“We cannot clean Manila Bay if we allow this,” he said, pointing out that dump sites have leachate, which could flow to nearby rivers and bodies of water.

The DENR also summoned the local chief executives and their respective municipal councils to explain the operations of the illegal dump sites and to present their immediate plan of action for the closure and rehabilitation of these garbage dumps.

“They [municipalities] were given seven days to explain the illegal operation of the dump site, as supported by the necessary documents, clearances and other permits issued pertaining to the implementation of the disposal site,” he said.

Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, provides that no open dumps shall be established and operated, nor any practice or disposal of solid waste by any person, including local government units, which constitutes the use of open dumps for solid wastes, is allowed.

Any person found violating the law shall be fined with P500,000 plus an amount not less than 5 percent but not more than 10 percent of its net annual income during the year.

But if local government officials and officials of a national agency are found guilty of violating the law, they can be charged administratively in accordance with Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code.

Meanwhile, Mayor Edwin Santos denied the existence of an open dump site in the City of San Fernando.

“We are not operating an open dump site. We only have the City Transfer Station,” Santiago said in a statement following the issuance of a CDO against the operation of the facility in Lara village here.

City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Regina Rodriguez also said no dump site is operating in the city.

Rodriguez said the former dump site has been converted to a transfer station when it was rehabilitated through the city’s greening program.

“We are fully implementing RA 9003. From the garbage collection, to the sorting and transferring, our system works. We are in partnership with the Metro Clark Waste Management Corp., which collects the garbage every day from our transfer station. We will never tolerate the existence of an open dump site here in San Fernando,” he said.

Rodriguez added that the transfer station was reviewed and approved by the DENR Region 3 pursuant to the Department’s Administrative Order 9, Series of 2006, or the “General Guidelines in the Closure and Rehabilitation of Open Dump site and Controlled Dump Facilities.”

Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario/PNA

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