MANILA, JUNE 28, 2007
(STAR) By Michael Punongbayan - The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) will soon be using closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras to monitor vehicular traffic within and around the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The devices will take photographs and footage of motor vehicles to address the worsening traffic problems along roads and intersections leading to the airport.

The use of CCTV cameras will form part of a new traffic management scheme being implemented at the NAIA complex by a newly formed unit called Task Group Kalyeng Maayos.

Ret. Gen. Angel Atutubo, MIAA assistant general manger for security and emergency services, said cameras will be installed in strategic locations for the use of traffic enforcers and investigators of Task Force Kalyeng Maayos.

According to Atutubo, specific areas of concern include Tambo and Quirino Avenue, Tramo and Andrew Avenue, MIA and Domestic Road, also known as the Park and Fly area, and the Ninoy Aquino Avenue.

He added that MIAA general manager Alfonso Cusi ordered the implementation of a new traffic development scheme that will improve vehicular traffic at NAIA.

In a memorandum order, he called for the creation of a traffic management task force that will devise a scheme that will address the worsening traffic problems within the airport complex and its surrounding roads.

Cusi attributed the same to increased volume of vehicles entering and exiting the NAIA, lack of discipline among motorists, and the ineffective implementation of existing traffic rules and regulations.

MOTORING: An e-pass for every car? MOTORING TODAY By Ray Butch Gamboa, SPMJ Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The howl of protest can’t be ignored. There are just too many. People who are living south of the metro that regularly use the SLEX, and there’s quite a lot of them, cannot reconcile in their minds why the management of the toll ways is insisting that every car should have it own e-pass.

Many “beg, steal or burrow” just to have a second vehicle to be able to go around the “color-coding” rules of the metro and have the convenience, comfort and safety of not having to publicly commute. Now, here comes the SLEX management wanting to have these metro denizens to unnecessarily spend for a second e-pass when they can see nothing wrong owning just one, which pays for every passage through toll ways anyway.

This means the SLEX doesn’t lose money if people have only one e-pass for their use – the SLEX just makes more money for every unnecessary additional e-pass that the motorist buys.

I guess you guys have to re-think this all over lest you run the risk of having louder and more pronounced protests from affected motorists.

Luzon to Mindanao on a tank full of gas, or less, aboard an Alterra

This latest adventure organized by Isuzu Philippines again strengthened their commitment of not only coming up with durable, dependable, comfortable and fuel-efficient diesel-powered vehicles but to promote local travel and tourism as well.

The latest feat conceived and ably implemented by the group of Art Balmadrid, vp for corporate business, Timmy Naval, pr manager, Ronald Baladad, et al of having invited members of the motoring media aboard Isuzu Alterras travel from Laguna in Luzon to Dipolog in Mindanao via the vaunted “nautical highway” on a tank full of diesel was pulled through with clockwork precision.

The 800-kilometer journey involving a total of five Isuzu Alteras was flagged off by Isuzu Philippines president Mr. Keiji Takeda together with Mr. Naotoshi Tsutsumi, director senior executive of Isuzu Motors Limited (Japan) from the Isuzu Plant at the Laguna Technopark and proceeded to the Batangas Port for its first RORO sea trip to Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. After a brief lunch stopover Filipiniana Resort Hotel the convoy took on a long trip all the way to Roxas for a brief dinner stop and on to another RORO trip to Caticlan for an overnight rest at the Sampaguita Gardens. After an early wake up call the motoring journalists started the land trip to Iloilo to have a brief lunch at the Marina Restaurant and drive off again, this time for the Dumangas Pier for another RORO ride to Bacolod where the group had dinner at the El Fisher Hotel and then leave immediately for the ride to Dumaguete City, where the next morning another RORO ride waited for them to Dipolog, late morning Friday.

I failed to join the group even for its last leisure stage, which was a day’s stay at Dakak Park Beach Resort to enjoy all its facilities and amenities. That Saturday, Andy Leuterio, our young distinguished peer in the motoring beat happily decided to end his liberty and tied the knot, and I was one of the principal sponsors. But as in all Isuzu events, I was there, even just in spirit.

Now, here’s the clincher coming from Art Balmadrid himself, “After all that traveling, some Alterras still had almost half a tank of fuel to spare.” Talk about fuel efficiency.

The Alterra was recently voted by the public as the “Large SUV of the Year” in the Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards.

Mercedes-Benz with a “Pinoy’s” touch

The all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class was launched by CATS Motors to the motoring media over lunch last week and at a cocktail/dinner for all friends and dealers at One Esplanade near the SM Mall of Asia.

This is the fourth generation of the C-Class tracing its beginnings twenty five years ago when the Mercedes-Benz 190 was introduced and thus laid the foundation for is to become the bestselling model series in the history of the brand.

It is touted that the C-Class leads its segment as a number of Mercedes-Benz hallmark features have been enhanced in this mode, as Cats Motors president, Felix Ang stressed during his speech, “Class leading features such as Agility Control, Pre-Safe and Advanced Audio/Telematics System are just some of the technological advancements our customers will enjoy.” But Felix was quick to add, “More importantly, all these value-added enhancements come without the hefty price tag as the price positioning for the new C-Class is so competitive that it will attract a wider and younger market into the fold.”

There is a note of interest for Pinoys in the all-new C-Class, as mentioned by Dr. Ranier Thiel, DaimlerChrysler president and CEO South East Asia in his speech delivered in the evening, “Speaking of the C-Class design and styling, we are proud to have one outstanding Filipino as an important part of it design team in Stuttgart. Winifredo Camacho is indeed ‘The Pride of the Philippines.’ He together with many other international designers has developed this, our newest product.”

Things have been looking up between DaimlerChrysler and CATS Motors since its partnership that was officially forged in 2005 as the Mercedes-Benz business has grown substantially in the Philippines as cited by CATS Motors chairman Greg Yu in his speech, “Our sales volume grew by 6 percent in 2005 as the luxury segment fell by 5 percent. In 2006, we grew 48 percent, while the luxury segment grew by only 3 percent. As of May this year, we have grown 36 percent, while the luxury segment fell by 1 percent. From a perennial third in terms of market share in the segment, Mercedes-Benz took over the no. 2 slot in January of this year and the gap between no.1 and no.2 is slowly narrowing.”

The all-new C-Class, which comes in two distinct designs – the Avantgarde and the Elegance, can be seen up close and for test drive at CATS Motors Global City and at Greenhills.

Pit Lane Notes Second driver no more!

The lines have been drawn quite clearly at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We saw it first right after the flag off and further confirmed on the 38th lap when on both occasions double defending champion and “lead driver” Fernando Alonso of the McLaren-Mercedes F1 Team tried hard to pass his rookie teammate. But the record-setting Formula 1 novice driver just refused to give way and held on, defending his racing lines as if saying, “We’re on even grounds now buddy, I’m no second driver no more.”

That’s a complete turn around from what was declared by the first ever black driver in the history of Formula One in Monaco. Is this with the McLaren Team’s blessings?

At the rate Lewis Hamilton is going, he just might become the first rookie world champion since Italy’s Nino Farina in 1950. So far after seven races he has yet to finish off the podium. The US Grand Prix is his second consecutive victory right after Canada.

His latest “top-of-the-podium” finish brought him 10 points ahead of the Spanish racing sensation in the world driver championship and also gave McLaren its third win in a row, after Hamilton’s victory in Canada and Alonso’s in Monaco. The last win is also their 1-2 in a row and their 152nd grand prix victory.

However, if we are to believe Hamilton, he has no rift with the Alonso and only has the media to blame, “They are always trying to take certain things out of context. But we’re supportive of each other and have a great deal of respect for each other. But at the moment we feel it is better we talk about each other when we are both there because he could read something in the papers that I’ve said that might be twisted. I would never make a negative comment about him because I’ve a lot of respect for him,” the leading driver in the 2007 series said.

But he added, “We’re competitive and we’ve already had some close races and I’m looking forward to the next few.”

Enough said – more “wheel-to-wheel” racing among the teammates up ahead. Isn’t this year’s Formula One a “seat-edger”?

A commitment is a commitment… is a commitment

Word in the motor sports circle has it that a multinational company seems to be reneging on its sponsorship commitments to a young racing hopeful that’s trying to make a name for himself and inevitably for the Philippines.

It has been reported to us by the people handling this young driver who has big potentials in international racing that they have been given the usual run around for over a year now whenever they try to follow up on the company’s outstanding balance of about a million pesos worth of goods due the young racing driver from the sponsorship.

To end this item on a positive note, we just hope this is a pure case of miscommunication between the two parties.

Happy Motoring!!!

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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