Category Archives: UP Forum

Presidential Elections and the Country’s Foreign Policy

In the run-up to the May presidential elections, candidates will be held to close scrutiny by the thinking members of the electorate. How well have have they thought out the major problems of the country and the potential solutions that can best serve the long-term interests of the Filipino people, instead of the expedient solutions or promises that can merely help get them elected?
Among the myriad issues that will demand attention – perhaps not necessarily the one closest to the needs of Juan dela Cruz but nonetheless of vital strategic importance – is the question of how to handle relations …

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What kinds of laws does our Congress legislate?

It must have been a shock for health officials and public health advocates to have learned that about a billion pesos was slashed from the Department of Health’s budget. The amount, allocated for the purchase of reproductive health commodities, was reportedly stricken out surreptitiously during the bicameral conference for the 2016 budget bill.
Reproductive health are among the issues considered priority by majority of Filipinos. Pulsa Asia’s 2007 survey on family planning, for instance, shows that an overwhelmingly majority of Filipinos believe in the importance of family planning and in government’s duty to provide budgetary support for it. Its 2010 survey, …

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UP Forum issue on UP’s Strategic Initiatives off the press

This is volume 16, number 1 of the bi-monthly UP Forum. In this special issue, UP President Alfredo Pascual gives updates on UP’s strategic initiatives, particularly on admissions system and policy; strengthening the faculty; modernizing pedagogy; transforming UP into a research-intensive university; unifying public service efforts; eUP and GreenUP; enhancing personnel benefits; and the UP budget. It also shows examples of ongoing and completed infrastructure projects of the University.
You may also download a digital copy by clicking here.

Missed an issue of the UP Forum or the UP News? Please visit the UP System on Issuu and you might just find …

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The Dignity of Travel: The Cebu BRT Project

Photo from Cebu City BRT Facebook page photo album.
Complex urban transport problems warrant a continuous search for solutions. The need for mobility is a given in today’s cities where commute trips tend to become longer as a result of urban sprawl and the growing mismatch between residential and employment locations which result in more trips made in terms of volume and distance. With a growing middle class whose tendency is to acquire and use private cars as the main mode of travel and the existence of low-quality public transport services, traffic congestion worsens with its attendant economic and environmental externalities. …

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When the Road Becomes a Parking Lot: A Hard Look at Metro Manila’s Traffic

Trust Pinoy wit to come up with the most appropriate name for the nightmare of bumper-to-bumper traffic within the metro: Carmageddon.1 Monsoon rains, road repairs, accidents, annual holidays, even a single misbehaving private or public utility vehicle can turn our roads into a virtual parking lot, while lines of people waiting to catch a ride on the MRT-3 snake down all the way to the sidewalks, and crowds of commuters spill over onto the middle of the street.
The financial costs of traffic congestion are staggering—P2.4 billion today, and likely to increase to P6 billion a day by 2030 if the …

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A Package Deal for Metro Traffic

MMDA Deputy Chairman Undersecretary Alex Ramon Cabanilla.
They are massive in scale. They breathe smoke and fire. They cause tremendous amounts of inconvenience, not to mention great financial losses. They are consistently aggravating and occasionally directly life-threatening. But the difference between dragons and traffic congestion is that one of them is all-too-real and much more complicated to deal with.
Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Deputy Chairman Undersecretary and former UP School of Urban and Regional Planning associate professor Alex Ramon Q. Cabanilla put it another way: “Our traffic problem is the product of years and years of benign neglect. It started out …

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A Place and the Case for UP and DOST’s Monorail

The Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) Prototype in UP Diliman, Quezon City.
There is no better endorsement for a rail system in a congested city than the existing ones.
The amount of patronage the Light Rail Transit and the Metro Rail Transit are getting despite the long lines and system breakdowns attests to the lengths commuters are willing to put up with just to get a traffic-free, automated ride toward their destinations.
For them there is hardly any alternative given the chaos of the whole public transport system, characterized by abusive bus, jeepney and taxi drivers and operators; lane preference given to private vehicles; …

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The LTFRB on the Colorum Phenomenon

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino and his agents flagging down colorum taxis and buses.
Most Filipinos are familiar with the term “colorum”—slang for illegal public land transport in the country.
For the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and its two agencies, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the term “colorum” refers to a franchise violation according to five criteria.
Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01 issued by the DOTC on 2 June 2014 states that if a private motor vehicle operates as a public utility vehicle (PUV) without proper authority from the LTFRB, it is operating …

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16th Congress Passes Three Transport Laws

Three laws involving the transport sector have been passed by the 16th Congress.
The most recent one was The Philippine Lemon Law of 2014 or An Act Strengthening Consumer Protection in the Purchase of Brand New Motor Vehicles and for Other Purposes, signed by the President on July 15, 2014.
This bill seeks to protect the rights of consumers who purchase motor vehicles against business and trade practices which are “deceptive, unfair or otherwise inimical to consumers and the public interest.”
The law provides a 12-month period after the date of the delivery of a brand new motor vehicle to a consumer or …

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UP Forum Roundtable Discussion on Transportation: How do you solve a problem like EDSA?

A portion of the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Quezon City.
Grace L. Poe
Republic of the Philippines
Discipline is the most potent weapon. It should be a priority in the minds of commuters, drivers, car owners and those who drive motor vehicles not just on EDSA but elsewhere.
Unfortunately, discipline is something that cannot be legislated but only earnestly encouraged, promoted and displayed.
The following should also be encouraged:
a. Funding mass transit requirements of the country. It means fast-tracking the expansion of MRT and LRT, funding the upgrading of PNR, and the competent maintenance of the transport system.
b. Implementing our …

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