INSPECTION. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Benjamin "Benhur" Abalos Jr. (2nd from right) inspects damaged concrete barriers under an Edsa flyover on Tuesday (June 8, 2021). Abalos ordered the clearing of areas under flyovers and bridges across the MMDA jurisdiction -- specifically those under Edsa flyovers and the Skyway. (Photo courtesy of MMDA)

MANILA – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has started clearing obstructions found under flyovers along the Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (Edsa), with plans to strictly enforce cleanliness and towing of illegally parked vehicles in these areas.

In an interview during site inspections on Tuesday, MMDA Chair Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said the clearing operation will begin at three flyovers in Edsa — Edsa-Kamuning, Timog, and Quezon Avenue.

Lahat ng nasa ilalim ng tulay ipapa-clearing natin lahat ito. Papagandahin, lilinisin yung iba, at lalagyan din natin ng sign na 'no parking' dito. Kung ano man ang nakalagay dito ipapa-tow away natin kaagad (Everything under the bridged will be cleared. We’ll make it look good, clean others, and we’ll install ‘no parking’ signs. Whatever is left here will be towed away),” Abalos said.

He said areas under the Skyway, including its newly built portions, will also be cleared and strictly monitored for obstructions.

Lahat ito pati mga bagong Skyway na ginawa ngaun, yung mga nasa ilalim. Kasi otherwise, nakita naman natin nagkukumpulan na ito. It's about time na talaga lahat ng ito ay linisin natin (All of this including the new Skyway, everything under. Because otherwise, we can see things are accumulating, it’s about time we clean all of it),” Abalos said.

He also ordered the removal and towing of illegally parked and abandoned vehicles which are mostly involved in accidents.

Hindi puwedeng gamiting impounding ito. This is a national highway. Maski sino, bawal gumamit nito (This cannot be used as an impounding area. This is a national highway. Doesn’t matter who, they cannot use this). We will coordinate with the proper authorities on this matter,” Abalos said.

He called on motorists to stop parking on the ground level of flyovers as these areas should be open spaces.

“I will make sure that violators will be sanctioned and issued violation tickets for illegal parking,” Abalos said.

He ordered the Metro Parkways Clearing Group and Road Emergency Group to remove unnecessary MMDA equipment in these areas.

“The equipment that the MMDA is utilizing for emergency purposes will be retained but not these much. Further, we will identify strategic locations to relocate the remaining equipment. MMDA should set an example here,” Abalos said.

He said damaged orange plastic barriers will be disposed of as garbage while broken concrete barriers will be smashed and used as filling materials at the MMDA Tumana impounding area in Marikina.

Once cleaned, he said some of these areas will be turned into “pocket gardens” as part of the MMDA’s drive towards enhancing cleanliness and aesthetics in Metro Manila.

Yung iba naman po pwede natin gawing mga pocket garden. Pagandahin natin ang kalakhang Maynila, hindi kamuka nito, tinutulugan na, may mga ano na (Some can be turned into pocket gardens. Let’s make Metro Manila beautiful—not like this, people are sleeping in it, there are obstructions),” Abalos said. (PNA)