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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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Another quake rattles Mindanao, hours after 6.3-magnitude shock

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MANILA—A 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck Davao Oriental early Thursday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said, hours after a 6.3-magnitude tremor rattled parts of Mindanao.

The moderate tremor occurred at 4:53 a.m. at a depth of 120 kilometers northeast of Manay town.

Instrumental intensity 3 was recorded in Alabel, Sarangani, intensity 2 in Tupi and General Santos City in South Cotabato, and intensity 1 in Kiamba, Sarangani.

Phivolcs said the temblor was not an aftershock of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit Tulunan, North Cotabato on Wednesday night.

The second quake was not expected to cause damage, but will spawn aftershocks, it added.

The earthquake in North Cotabato was felt in parts of Mindanao that left at least 4 people dead and dozens injured. Via ABS-CBN News

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4 dead in Pampanga car crash

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PAMPANGA, Philippines – Four people died after their car crashed into an open canal and caught fire along the main avenue of Clark Freeport Zone here in the wee hours of Tuesday, October 15.

The Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) said in a statement on Wednesday, October 16, that the fatal “self accident” happened along the eastbound lane of Manuel A. Roxas Avenue around 3:15 am on Tuesday.

The initial investigation showed that the vehicle, a white Hyundai Accent, was traversing the avenue on its way out of Clark when it plunged into a canal and caught fire.

Police said the 4 occupants of the car were burned to death. Authorities have yet to identify the victims as of posting.

Firefighters from the Clark Development Corporation’s Public Safety Department were able to put out the fire by 3:25 am on Tuesday.

Police received the report about the fatal accident at 4:30 am and dispatched a team from the Scene of Crime Operatives to investigate the crash site.

Investigators looked into overspeeding as among the possible causes of the crash, Rappler reports.

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Lalamove Philippines expanding services to Pampanga

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Lalamove Philippines on Wednesday announced plans to expand its delivery services to Pampanga, citing a growing need for logistics services in areas outside of Metro Manila.

On the sidelines of the AVCJ Private Equity & Venture Forum, Lalamove Philippines managing director Dannah Majarocon said the company is looking to expand to several areas.

“We are looking at moving into another city by the first half of next year. It’s a toss-up, but we are leaning more towards Pampanga because it makes a lot of sense,” she said in an interview with GMA News Online.

“Our business clients in Manila want to have items delivered all the way to Pampanga and from Pampanga to Manila, plus you have another port that is in that area,” she said.

Lalamove offers delivery services in over 100 cities across Mainland China, Southeast Asia, and India. In the Philippines alone, the company has over 45,000 partner drivers catering to clients in Manila and Cebu.

“Eventually, we will move into other cities further south. We’re still deciding if we’re gonna go Davao or Iloilo, but the most logical next phase for us will be where the central business districts are,” said Majarocon.

The company is banking on the growing need for logistics services, as it has continued to register positive growth in terms of delivery orders.

“It’s hard to fully determine or to fully attribute if it’s because of traffic because the growth of Lalamove has continuously compounded every single week, every single month, ever since we started here,” she said.

“Growth has been ‘exponentially fantastic’ for lack of a better term, and I would attribute that more because we are addressing a need in the market,” Majarocon added. —GMA News

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