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3 Cost Effective Ways to Solve Metro Manila's Traffic Problem

The Facebook page of ANC 24/7 is asking for its reader's suggestion on how to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem.

This got me thinking, "what is the best way to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem?" It's easy to make suggestions, what's hard is the implementation and the cost of implementation. So what is the the best way to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem and the most cost effective solution?

Punitive Fines
First of all, any implementation will definitely cost money, a lot of money. The cause of the traffic mess is the people themselves so it's only right that those causing the traffic problem should be fined and the fine should hurt. That way, the fines will pay for the cost of enforcing the law.
The fines should start at P500 and goes up every week if you don't pay it within 15 days. To enforce this and prevent people from ignoring the fine. It will be tied to their driver's license or car registration. They cannot renew their d…

Zambo City shuts down after heavy fighting; curfew imposed amid hostage crisis

From InterAksyon.com

MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE 9, 7:53 p.m.) Authorities imposed a curfew from 8 p.m. Monday till 5 a.m. Tuesday in Zamboanga City, where several Cabinet officers and security forces are hunkered down with local government executives to resolve the crisis sparked by the taking of 220 hostages by 100 Moro rebels who tried to take city hall at dawn.

A firefight with government troops shut down the city early Monday morning, and resulted in the death of at least four people--one policeman, one navy personnel and two civilians--and injuries to at least 17 others.
Government security forces successfully foiled the group, which a military official said is a breakaway faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) led by Haber Malik. However, an MNLF official said the armed men were there as an “advance team” for Misuari.

In a press briefing late Monday afternoon, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas II confirmed that the overall ground commander of the MNLF forces is Uztadz Khabir (Haber) Malik, known as the right-hand man of Misuari.

Roxas flew to the area with Defense chief Voltaire Gazmin and AFP chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista on instructions of the President.

“Our reports indicate that Misuari is in Sulu. There’s no report of any unnatural or unnecessary movement in the area,” Roxas said.

President Benigno Aquino III sent the officials to the city to monitor and help the Zamboanga Crisis Management Committee (CMC) manage the situation.

Roxas described the prevailing situation as “stabilizing,” with soldiers and policemen keeping a “healthy distance” from MNLF forces in at least four barangays where they kept their hostages.

“We’re here to stabilize the situation. We assure the people that the President is monitoring closely. Everything is being coursed through the city’s crisis committee pursuant to protocol,” he said.

Westmincom's contingency

Meanwhile, the commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), Lt. Gen. Rey Ardo, said contingency plans are in place in Basilan, Zamboanga Sibugay and Sulu if similar attacks are launched there.
The MNLF group was reported claiming they have “25,000 men” deployed in Zamboanga Peninsula ready to launch simultaneous attacks, aside “from another 10,000 more men” outside the peninsula ready to reinforce if necessary.

Military officials, however, dismissed this and said the Westmincom is on top of the situation and ready to neutralize the rebels.

Local government moves quickly

Mayor Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said the situation has forced the local government to suspend work at city hall and asked the military and police to secure it. Other public operations, as well as classes, and air and water transportation going to and from the city, were also shut down.

The class suspension extends until Tuesday, the mayor announced.

After the shooting stopped, the group was then reported to be holding a number of civilians hostage inside a mosque. The mayor said a negotiator had been sent to the area to try to free them.

"About 100 MNLF fighters were intercepted by troops on the coast of Zamboanga before dawn," triggering the fighting, Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala said in initial reports. Later, military reports said the number of armed men stood at more than 400.

The hostilities, which broke out in the city's Barangay Rio Hondo, started at around 3 a.m., waking people from sleep and forcing them to flee the area.

The rebels have scattered to nearby barangays. Some 35 to 40 of them were spotted in Barangay Sta. Catalina.
Task Force Zamboanga commander Col. Andreilino Colina said government troops are on top of the situation and will ask for augmentation from higher headquarters if the situation warrants.

“We have to prevent bloodshed,” he said.

About 800 soldiers were mobilized to track down the location of the rebels.

Curfew, other measures

In her Facebook wall on Monday afternoon, Mayor Climaco-Salazar announced that she had declared curfew from 8 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday, with authority from the city council which held a special session. Classes will remain suspended in all levels in both public and private institutions on Tuesday, Climaco said.

Only people "working directly in managing the situation will be permitted to go around the city, including those in the medical profession and working for evacuation and distribution of relief goods. Others who will be out on the streets will be invited for interrogation," she said.

The mayor is currently briefing mediamen at City Hall with Interior Sectreyary Mar Roxas, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Rep. Celso Lobregat, Rep. Lilia Nuno, among other officials.

The Western Mindanao State University gym is being used as a satellite emergency hospital, to be supervised by city health officer Dr. Rodel Agbulos.

The city government, through its Twitter account @zambocitygovt is calling for volunteers to assist evacuees at the Zamboanga grandstand.

As of 3 p.m., some 1,000 evacuees were counted at Zamboanga grandstand; and another 1,500 at Barangay Tetuan.

In an earlier press statement, the mayor assured the public that the city government is mobilizing all resources to address the situation "brought about by the infiltration of alleged MNLF members in some coastal barangays." 
The City Health Office in cooperation with the private hospitals are setting up an emergency hospital at the grandstand where all victims will be directed. Ambulances from public and private hospitals will be stationed in the area. 

Zamcelco was asked to exert all efforts to prevent power interruptions or curtailment while the situation is still unresolved, Climaco said.

Casualties and hostages

The Crisis Management Council (CMC) of Zamboanga City government said at least 17 people were wounded and 220 civilians are being held hostage. Mayor Climaco-Salazar said 20 civilians in Barangay Sta. Catalina and 200 in Barangay Kasanyangan were used as human shields by the Moro rebels from advancing government troops.
She said the 17 wounded from the gunfight between government forces and the rebels was confirmed by the City Health Office.

Chief Supt. Juanito Vaño Jr., director of the Police Regional Office 9 (PRO9), dismissed media reports that the Moro rebels have seven barangays under their control.

 “Hindi po totoong under control ng MNLF ang pitong barangay. Nasa iisang barangay lang sila ngayon sa Sta. Catalina (They are in one barangay, Sta. Catalina),” he said.

According to Climaco-Salazar, aside from Sta. Catalina and Kasangyangan, the rebels were also spotted in Barangays Sta. Barbara, Talon-Talon, and Mampang.

Nonetheless, she said, “the situation is not a city-wide undertaking. Crisis is confined in five barangays. Zamboanga City has 98 barangays.”

The city government said around 300 evacuees from Barangays Rio Hondo and Mariki were now at the city grandstand. Hospitals and other health facilities have been secured by government forces as personnel of the local government went to these facilities, as well as evacuation centers.

Read more at InterAksyon.com


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