THE Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) will start a review of all ongoing excavations in the metropolis for possible exemption from the moratorium on road diggings that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will impose this coming holiday season.
In a meeting with Department of Public Works and Highways-National Capital Region (DPWH-NCR) district engineers, I-ACT representative Assistant Secretary for Road Transport Mark de Leon and the 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 may submit a list of ongoing road projects to be evaluated by the I-ACT.
Aside from stating the reason why a road excavation is necessary, photos of the road diggings with their exact location should be included in the request for exemption, he said.
De Leon said no part of the roads or thoroughfares should be affected by the road diggings, which could cause a slowdown or heavy buildup 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.
De leon said the Mabuhay Lanes are continuously being cleared of illegally parked vehicles and structures to make them easily accessible to motorists.
For his part, DPWH-NCR director Melvin Navarro said district engineers 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 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 and will last up to January 9, 2017.