THE truck ban hours in Metro Manila will again be in effect starting Monday, December 14, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced Thursday. MMDA General Jose Arturo S. Garcia, Jr. said the reimplementation of the ban was requested by the capitol region’s mayors, citing heavier traffic with the coming holidays. “Vehicles travelling on the streets of Metro Manila increase as Christmas approaches so we will return the implementation of the truck ban beginning Monday to help ease traffic,” Mr. Garcia said in a statement. The truck ban was lifted in mid-March to ensure the unhampered flow of goods despite quarantine restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Under the policy, large trucks are prohibited from major thoroughfares in Metro Manila from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Saturday. A total truck ban is enforced along the Magallanes Interchange-North Avenue segment of EDSA. The number-coding scheme, on the other hand, remains lifted. Metro Manila’s 17 mayors comprise the Metro Manila Council, which governs the MMDA.
DENR wins case against illegal trader who brought in tarantulas
THE Environment department has won a lawsuit against an illegal wildlife trader who smuggled over 700 live tarantulas into the country in April 2019, the agency said on Thursday. The Pasay City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 48 convicted the accused, Jesse Camaro, for illegally transporting 757 tarantulas that had an estimated value of P310,900 and customs taxes worth P54,752. “Camaro was found guilty of violating Republic Act (RA) 9147 or the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act and sentenced to six months imprisonment and fined P20,000. He was also fined P100,000 for violating RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act,” the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said, quoting the court’s seven-page decision. Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, in a statement, described the ruling as “a testimony of DENR’s effectiveness in bringing justice to the voiceless wildlife species.” He added, “the growing number of illegal trading cases prompts us to make environmental law enforcement as one of the priorities in the DENR.” Last month, Environment Undersecretary Jonas R. Leones said the department would continue its efforts to stem the illegal wildlife trade in the country to protect species and prevent the spread of microbial infections from animals to humans. — Angelica Y. Yang