THE government started Friday implementing a policy prohibiting diggings and other road works at daytime to further ease traffic in Metro Manila.
“To avoid traffic snarls and bottlenecks caused by ongoing road diggings and excavations in Metro Manila, we have agreed that such road works should be done at night when traffic is expected to be lighter,” said Thomas Orbos, acting chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority.
Orbos on Friday gave the go-ahead to the Department of Public Works and HIghways to resume its road reblocking in Quezon City but on condition it would be conducted from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The reblocking will take place along the southbound lanes of Mindanao Avenue (from Mindanao Avenue Bridge to Tandang Sora Avenue); Commonwealth Avenue (from Don Jose Street to San Simon Street), and Quirino Highway (from Mindanao Avenue to Bernardino Street).
Traffic will also be affected along the westbound lane of Congressional Avenue Extension because of the road works in front of Shell Gasoline Station-Miranda Gate area.
Orbos permitted the road works to be conducted from March 3 to 6.
The ban of road works at daytime followed the MMDA meeting with officials of the departments of Transportation, and Public Works and Highways to further improve the flow of traffic in the National Capital Region.
Under the policy, road repairs and rehabilitations on major thoroughfares must be done by contractors around 10 p.m. to make sure that the road will be passable to motorists by 5 a.m. the next day.
To do this, the government agencies will be requiring contractors to use quick dry cement on the road works to be able to meet the one-day curing period.
The MMDA will now issue the permits of excavation to the DPWH district or regional offices and no longer to the contractor who applied for the required document.
Orbos said many of the contractors applying to secure a permit have been appealing to the MMDA to stall the issuance of the document because they could not meet the scheduled deadline to complete their respective road projects.
Also under the new guidelines, the DPWH will be responsible in preparing the traffic management plan of the road projects, and the plan will be reviewed by the MMDA.
“With the new guidelines in the issuance of permits of excavation, we hope to address the additional traffic caused by ongoing and unfinished road diggings,” said Orbos.
The MMDA chief acknowledged Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade for initiating the holding of the meeting among the concerned government agencies to thresh out various issues and concerns.
The government agencies will also be requiring at least one contractor to attend the monthly meeting, scheduled every second Tuesday of the month, between MMDA, DPWH, and DOTr, starting April.
The initial meeting was also attended by MMDA Director Neomie Recio, and DPWH-National Capital Region director Melvin Navarro and Undersecretary Romeo Momo.
Every year, the government implements a moratorium on road diggings and other repairs to ease traffic in the metropolis during the peak buying months and holiday season.
The three-month moratorium aimed to stop road works because they tended to cause traffic snarls on major and secondary roads especially with the expected increase in the volume of vehicles and pedestrians during Christmas rush.
Violators will be fined and penalized heavily under Section 3 of the MMDA Amended Regulation No. 11- 002 series of 2011.