The MMDA shouldn’t blink
MOTORING TODAY - Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - September 4, 2013 - 12:00am

  The birth pains of the Southwestern Interim Transport Terminal (SITT) are getting more intense in the light of the recent drivers’ and operators’ “strike”, which some observers are saying as possibly more of an act of preventing the terminal from continuing to work and convince the MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) to just drop the venture all together.    

But the idea of having provincial bus terminals in strategic gateways to Metro Manila on major transport corridors from the provinces has been in the drawing boards since several presidential administrations before. The objective is to lessen the volume of vehicles entering the metro especially those humongous provincial buses. And aside from establishing major provincial bus terminals immediately outside the metro’s limits like the SITT, it has also been envisioned not to allow any kind of provincial bus terminals within Metro Manila to further strengthen the measure. 

The SITT is the first of these major bus terminals put up by the present administration, which is to service buses and commuters from the Cavite and Batangas provinces. It is located in the defunct Uniwide Coastal Mall, southwest of Metro Manila. It is actually an interim terminal while the actual bus terminal, which is located near the same area is still under construction. 

This is something new for the MMDA and like anything that’s on its first staging it needs a lot of “fine tuning”, which according to its hard-working chairman is in its full implementation.

The provincial bus terminal is a bold step by the PNoy administration that would initially set properly in place the government’s transport services for the populace. Considering that it is a radical departure from what has been long-time established, there will be some collateral damage, especially on those that do not fit into the new scheme of things. Reportedly, one of the first things that were visibly realized was the over-supply of buses for the lesser number of commuters needing the ride. Supposedly one of the causes of the long queues in the terminal as many buses line up to wait for their buses to be filled.

With all due respect to the strong-willed MMDA chairman, the Honorable Francis Tolentino, our unsolicited advice as he is faced with all sorts of protests, mostly from bus operators is “not to blink and go for it.”

Provincial bus terminals are the way to go!

Road Safety seminars are on the road   

Since the start of the present school year, the Young Street Smarts Road Safety School Tour (YSS Road Safety School Tour) has conducted free road safety seminars in six schools in Metro Manila.                               

Conceived, organized and being conducted by Socio Com Foundation for Asia in partnership with Sunshine Television, producers of alternative and developmental TV programs like Motoring Today, Auto Focus and Business & Leisure, these free seminars in high schools are aimed to make students safe and responsible road users of the present and the future.

The major supporters of these free seminars include the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) in cooperation with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and Air 21 with the participation of Asian Carmakers (BMW), Cats Motors (Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Jeep), Columbian Autocar (Kia), Covenant Car Company (Chevrolet), Lexus Manila, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines, PGA Cars (Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche), Toyota Motor Philippines, and Chevron Philippines.

The first to oblige to have a free seminar conducted in their school for more than three hundred 3rd and 4th year students last June 28 immediately after the opening of the school year was St. Paul College of Paranaque City as arranged with Academic Team Leader, Ms. Kristina Macatangay.

This was immediately followed the next week, July 5 with another free road safety seminar similarly for 3rd and 4th year students, also more than 300 of them at the Judge Feliciano Belmonte Annex HS in Quezon City with Ms. Zaida Padullo, Principal III coordinating.   

Next in line was the Angelicum College, QC last July 14 under the auspices of its principal, Ms. Maria Urduja Galang who arranged for more than 300 4th year students.

Again, more than 300 4th year students, this time from the Elizabeth Seton School in Las Pinas City were the beneficiaries of the free road safety seminar as arranged by Unit Head, Dr. Delia Navaza.

A smaller crowd of 60 students eagerly gathered at the Greenpark Montessori Learning Center in Cainta, Rizal. But its principal, Ms. Rosario Bautista was grateful no end for the priceless information on road safety that was imparted to their students from the free seminar.

And last Friday, August 30, two hundred selected 4th year students of Pitogo High School in Makati City under Department Coordinator, Ms. Marjory Obrero were the very receptive and eager beneficiaries of a well-thought of and organized seminar to produce safe and responsible road users.

There’s of course Ms. Yvette delos Santos, the seminar facilitator and certified safety instructor of Honda Cars Kalookan that gets the students either glued to their seats or are high-spiritedly joining the contests that are held during the seminar, which are all designed to keep it interesting and to determine how much are being assimilated and retained by the attending students.

If you are a parent and would like your student child to be one of the few lucky attendees of this free road safety seminar that produces safe and responsible road users, get your PTA working or have your school arrange for one to be held in your school. You can actually write to this column for assistance.

We have to thank all our supporters previously mentioned, that yearly subscribe their sponsorship without fail. And worthy of note is the fact that automobile companies, manufacturers and importers, all stakeholders of the road safety advocacy without distinction of brand and regardless of keen competition are bonding together to ensure that these road safety seminars continue year after year.

Thank you guys!


Mitsubishi Mirage Gymkhana Series’ exciting conclusion

What’s a gymkhana? It’s not a race. It’s precision driving. A highly competitive motor sports contest that’s akin to the outstanding features of the Mitsubishi Mirage.

After a successful launch and an eventual 2012 “Car of the Year” award, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) went on a promotional rampage to make sure the automobile market especially the young, the adventurous, the ladies and the motorsports-prone get to know the remarkable world-class features and performance of the mini spitfire that arguably appeal to them by staging the Mitsubishi Mirage Gymkhana Series. 

The exciting event was an invitational precision driving competition that was participated in by teams coming from fleet customers and members of the motoring media. Held in high-profile mall parking lots in different parts of Metro Manila, P100,000 cash, a trophy and gift packs from sponsors were offered to the overall series champion, with P50,000 to the second placer and P25,000 to the third.

After 4 rounds of competition in various weather conditions and day-long punishment of the enduring Mitsubishi Mirage, the Media Division saw the Auto Team driving off with the championship trophy and corresponding cash prize, while the proud STV (Motoring Today/Auto Focus) Team composed of Supervising Producer Ray Louis ‘Wee’ Gamboa and ace cameraman Matt Mallari came in as a very close Second Place with 60 points, just 4 points behind the winner and Top Gear B Team coming in third with 49 points. The Club/Fleet Division had Club Mitsu A as champion, MyMitsu Team came in second with Club Mitsu B in third place.

Congratulations to MMPC marketing vice president, Froy Dytianquin and advertising and communications top honcho Arlan Reyes for staging a very successful and exciting event.

Honda stays on the groove

After a successful launch of the Honda CR-Z, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) continues to marvel its customers of its active market existence by offering the “lowest prices ever” for tires and batteries bought from their dealerships with additional premiums like a full gallon of semi-synthetic engine oil worth P1,500 for 2 tires and a full gallon of fully-synthetic engine oil for 4 tires and for a battery, a full gallon of mineral engine oil.


Be involved—file your report

When you come across a motoring problem that can poise danger to motorists and pedestrians, kindly take a picture or video of the problem and send it to our Motoring Today TV show (Sunday, 12 noon, Solar Sports, Channel 70, Sky Cable Network) through its Facebook page. We shall immediately refer the problem to the appropriate government agency for immediate action. 

Let’s work together for a better and safer motoring in the country.

Happy Motoring!!!

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