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Improving NCR’s COVID-19 numbers and new Pasig River bridges

03:59 AM May 18, 2021

In these gloomy pandemic times, good news are becoming harder to find.

But the latest Metro Manila numbers (May 10-16) are very encouraging. The past seven-day average daily new COVID-19 cases are now down to 1,479. It’s almost 43 percent lower than the peak average of 5,551 cases late March.

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The infection rate termed Reproduction Number (RN) also fell to just 0.57 from the very high 2.1, while positivity rate is now at 11 percent from a high of 22.8 percent on April 1. The average daily attack rate (ADAR) per 100,000 population in NCR is presently at 10.71 percent, down from an average of 27 percent.

Eight out of 17 LGUs in Metro Manila are below the NCR ADAR average, now used as a DILG yardstick of anti-COVID 19 performance by individual mayors. At this point, I must congratulate for a job well done the top 5 NCR LGU executives here: Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco for getting the lowest ADAR score of 5.24 percent, followed by Malabon Mayor Lenlen Oreta with 7.65, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno with 8.23, Taguig Mayor Lino Cayetano with 8.92, and Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan with 8.95.

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The others are Pasay Mayor Emy Calixto-Rubiano with 9.62, Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi with 10.36, and Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivares with 10.97.

Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro led LGUs with above NCR-ADAR average with 10.97 percent, followed by Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian with 11.13, Las Piñas Mayor Imelda Aguilar with 11.57, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte with 11.94, Mandaluyong Mayor Menchie Abalos with 14.01, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto with 14. 07 and Makati Mayor Abby Binay with 14.56. The bottom two are Pateros Mayor Miguel Ponce III with 17.65 and San Juan Mayor Zamora with the highest ADAR score of 19.85.

We know the challenges are still very hard and dangerous but we appreciate that all of our mayors are doing their very best. For example, Pateros had the biggest drop of 62 percent in new COVID-19 cases followed by Taguig with 51 percent, Pasig with 39 percent, Mandaluyong with 35 percent, San Juan with 32 percent, Malabon with 28 percent, Marikina with 26 percent, Navotas with 25 percent, and Quezon City and Valenzuela tied with 24 percent drop.

New cases in Manila and Pasay cities both registered a 22-percent decline while Las Pinas had 20 percent, Makati with 18 percent, Muntinlupa with 17 percent and Caloocan with 16 percent.

This is great collective work of national, MMDA, local governments and private sector with support from our citizenry. We should not squander these gains in order to avoid another disastrous third wave with the more deadlier and highly infectious Indian variant.

Chinese-donated Pasig bridges to open next month

On June 12, Independence Day, the new 506-meter Estrella-Pantaleon bridge connecting Rockwell, Makati and Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong will be inaugurated after more than two years of construction. This P1.46-billion Chinese donation is a twin Spine steel box girder bridge that will have four lanes and 3-meter sidewalks for pedestrian use. It has a better superstructure and modern aesthetics diverting 50,000 vehicles away from Edsa. This replaces the former two-lane modular box truss bridge costing P303 million donated by Austria and built during the Aquino administration.

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Another Chinese-donated Pasig River bridge opening in December this year is the 680-meter Binondo-Intramuros bridge from Solana street to Riverside drive that DPWH says can accommodate 30,000 vehicles daily. This beautiful basket handled tied steel arch bridge costs around P3.39 billion with a viaduct over Muelle de Industria and Estero de Binondo is a vital link between historic Intramuros and the Chinatown business district.

This will definitely relieve heavily congested traffic today on Jones, Macarthur and Quezon bridges all within the city of Manila .

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