Metro Manila Development Authority’s general manager Thomas “Tim” M. Orbos has begun reaching out to stakeholders to find solutions to the problems besetting the metropolis and find ways to help improve services to 12.8-million residents.
Orbos made a courtesy call on former President Fidel V. Ramos at the RPDEV office in Makati City to learn the best practices of the Ramos administration and discuss projects to attend to basic services affecting the metropolis such as traffic, garbage, sewerage and flooding.
The new MMDA head expressed his gratitude to Ramos for his continuing service to the country as a Senior Statesman and for being a mentor to a province mate—both Ramos and Orbos hail from Pangasinan.
“It was a great opportunity to engage President Ramos in a meeting and I am fortunate to be mentored on the best practices of his administration,” Orbos said.
“It was also very generous on his part to express his support to MMDA and to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade for MMDA’s new Back-to-Basics program that would restore the authority to the streets,” Orbos said..
The visit afforded Ramos and Orbos the opportunity to review plans and programs undertaken during the Ramos administration that are still applicable to date for possible implementation by President Rodrigo Duterte and Secretary Tugade.
In the more than one-hour meeting, the former President shared to Orbos what his former administration has done to decongest Metro Manila and abate flooding. He likewise spoke of proposed projects which never got off the ground.
Among Ramos’ recommendations were the utilization of the port of Batangas to decongest the port of Manila; the construction of the Zapote-C6 by pass landing which would link Southern and Northern Luzon; revival of the Save the Pasig River, Piso Para sa Pasig and the Clean and Green Movement; the transfer of the Philippine Navy Headquarters to SangleyPoint in Cavite; the full utilization of Subic and Clark airports; and the implementation of the common bus terminal projects.
Also discussed were the garbage transfer stations that the Ramos administration put in place to address the waste disposal problem in Metro Manila.
Ramos made a sales pitch to the proposed construction of the People Power Center that will be beneficial as this can help ease the vehicle parking problem. The Center is designed to accommodate 2,000 cars at any given time.
Ramos advised Orbos to continue reaching out “because the problem of Metro Manila cannot be done by MMDA alone. What is needed is U.S.T., meaning Unity of purpose, Solidarity in values and Teamwork in nation-building,” he added.
Meanwhile, Orbos said the agency was assessing the operations of the Southwest Integrated Provincial Terminal in Parañaque City with a view to a possible transfer to another site.
Orbos said the agency’s move was in response to an observation made by Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, who inspected the terminal.
According to Orbos, the SWIPT is only a temporary station pending the completion of a permanent terminal by the Department of Transportation.
The terminal was supposed to be completed last year but was delayed and later moved to 2018.
Based on the agency’s data, from the previous number of 1,000 buses using the SWIPT, this has decreased to only 200.
Orbos said that provincial buses making U-turns along Buendia Avenue contribute to the traffic buildup in the said thoroughfare.
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