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MMDA removes ad firm's waiting sheds
Updated January 18, 2009 12:00 AM

The Metro Manila Development Authority has started removing waiting sheds owned by an ad agency along EDSA, with MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando saying these structures pose danger to the public.

“These waiting sheds constitute nuisance per se, defined by law as any establishment or condition of property, which among others, injure, or endanger the safety of others and obstruct or interfere with the free passage of any public highway or streets,” he said.

Fernando said 46 waiting sheds owned by the High Desert Philippines Inc. and the High Desert Stop-Overs Inc. along EDSA’s north- and southbound lanes between Magallanes and Monumento will be removed. As of Friday night, MMDA personnel have already removed 27 waiting sheds full of billboards.

Fernando said a recent traffic study undertaken by the MMDA found that certain road facilities have been rendered obsolete, such as the waiting sheds installed by High Desert.

“The previously designated loading and unloading zones are no longer existing or have relocated or repositioned,” he said.

The sheds also hinder the completion of the Organized Bus Route (OBR) program of the MMDA, Fernando said.

The OBR involves the installation of “micro-chips” or Radio Frequency Identification Device and readers on buses and designated points in the terminals and thoroughfares for easy tracking of the movement of buses along EDSA.

Under the OBR, bus terminal and loading bays are equipped with tracking device and cameras that will monitor every bus operating in Metro Manila. High Desert’s sheds do not have such devices.

The MMDA removed the sheds despite an injunction issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 95 prohibiting the agency from dismantling the structures.

The two ad agencies have also filed a P2.5-million damage suit against Fernando for initiating the dismantling operation after he terminated the agreements between the two firms and the MMDA last Aug. 8, 2006 and ordered them to remove the waiting sheds and the ads on or before Sept. 16.

Authorities said about 3,000 passenger buses ply EDSA, Metro Manila’s main thoroughfare, on a daily basis. They accumulate about 32,000 daily trips.

The MMDA signed three contracts with the ad companies in 1992 to 1996, including one entered into by then MMDA chairmen Prospero Oreta and Ignacio Bunye. Fernando said these contracts have long expired but the agency’s hands are tied by the court injunction. – Rhodina Villanueva: Philstar.com

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