Nov 29, 2017

Pampanga travel now with ease via new NLEX interchange

To ease mounting traffic issues within the vicinity of two major malls located in San Fernando, the capital city of Pampanga, the NLEX Corporation enhanced the capacity of the San Fernando Interchange.

Two new bridges crossing the NLEX were built and recently opened to function as separate carriageways and the interchange ramps were widened to four lanes in each direction. The east and west roundabouts along Jose Abad Santos Avenue were also removed to pave way for the installation of automated traffic lights.

"We undertook these traffic enhancements in our infrastructure to keep up with the fast-paced developments and heightened economic activities in San Fernando. With these improvements, the new and expanded interchange is seen to facilitate efficient mobility of people and goods to and from San Fernando and nearby areas," remarked Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation andNLEX Corporation president and CEO, Rodrigo Franco during the inaugural drive-thru last November 21st attended by legislators representing the area, local government officials and local business leaders.

Earlier this year, the NLEX Corporation fully opened to the public the 64 lane kilometers of new expressway lanes between the Sta. Rita to San Fernando and Dau to Sta. Ines portions of the NLEX, which have since improved travel time and safer travel in Bulacan and Pampanga.

With all these significant projects, the NLEX Corporation strengthens its position as the country's premier road infrastructure conglomerate.

Citizens' participation in the metro's traffic management

We welcome the direct participation of private citizens in helping traffic authorities, specifically the PNP-HPG ( Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group) manage the worsening traffic situation in the metro.

Although with a little bit of apprehension as to how the authorities would guard the partnership against cooperative abuses and corruption, this combined effort would surely serve as a force multiplier for the government's traffic managers and enforcers.

The agreement, which was recently signed between the PNP-HPG and the CCW ( Citizens Crime Watch) Association calls for deployment of CCW members to assist in traffic management and road safety operations.

In theory this move appears workable but we'll have to find out with bated breath how it shall work in actual practice.

Let's give it a chance-whatever works.

Speeding counts together with driver error and equipment failure

Finally after quite some time, the IRR ( Implementing Rules and Regulations) pertaining to the law that requires the installation of 'speed limiters' on all vehicles, especially on PUVs (Public Utility Vehicles) will soon be released within the next few weeks.

Based on available public records many accidents have been caused by over speeding vehicles, exacerbated by them being in the hands of inexperienced drivers and to make matters worse, the vehicles are in a sorry state of being ill-maintained-indeed a very deadly combination.

With the mandated installation of this device that prevents vehicles from going beyond the predetermined and pre-adjusted speed, the aforementioned toxic combination would be reduced, which could hopefully translate to lesser accidents.

With its IRR finally drafted the implementation of the Speed Limiter Law is set this December as assured by DOTr undersecretary Thomas Orbos.

If I'm not mistaken the law requires the device to be installed in all vehicles to include those privately owned. And its implementation is another story altogether-a very challenging one too.

Jaguar Land Rover appoints official importers in the Phils.

Coventry Motors Corporation (CMC) , a relatively new player in the industry but with veteran business tycoons behind it recently inked an agreement with Jaguar Land Rover Asia Pacific to be the country's official importers of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover is the United Kingdom's largest automotive manufacturer, built around two iconic British car brands: Land Rover, the world's leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel-drive vehicles; and Jaguar, one of the world's premier luxury sports saloon and sports car marques.

"This is a critical milestone for our growth in the Asia Pacific region," remarked Robin Colgan, managing director of Asia Pacific Importers during the contract-signing ceremony held at the Manila Golf Club that was attended mostly by members of the country's motoring media. "The Philippines' robust growth of 6.9% in the last quarter - which has surpassed even that of China - is a clear indication that this is a market that holds a remarkable promise and potential for quality premium cars that will meet the needs of a sophisticated and developed consumer base," eagerly added the Briton exec who flew in to the country specifically to finalize the agreement.

Together with the signing of the contract was the unveiling of the brand new Range Rover Velar, which according to CMC, "brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the Range Rover family and offers levels of luxury, refinement and all-terrain capability never before seen in the mid-size SUV segment."

The first CMC dealership is scheduled to open in the first quarter of next year, 2018.

Suzuki Vitara test drive to La Union

A media test drive to La Union came close to the heels of the very successful launch last November 9 of the all-new Suzuki Vitara.

A total of 31 motoring journalists were able to experience the subcompact SUV during the two-day test-drive to Thunderbird Resort and Casino that originated from Suzuki Auto Kalookan and back last November 22 and 23.

"It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to this year's test drive activity with our very own Suzuki Vitara. I believe since its launch we were able to position ourselves accordingly, having targeted the millennial market. Bringing the new subcompact SUV all the way from Europe and adapting its advanced features and functionalities, we set our sights on reaching out to more Filipinos and sharing with them the Suzuki Way of Life," said Shuzo Hoshikura, general manager for automobile of Suzuki Philippines in one leisure stop overs of the test drive.

Also according to Hoshikura-san, the all-new Vitara was able to highlight its fuel efficiency, power and stability through the straightaways of TPLEX and the winding roads of La Union. The panoramic sunroof was also a plus when taking pictures and videos of the countryside as confirmed by the members of the motoring media.

Happy Motoring!!!

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Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.

At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network’s AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart’s middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN’s DZYL and DZQL.

From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.

In the early 70’s, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).

In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports’ living legend Pocholo Ramirez.

After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN’s Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable’s Channel 13.

The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport’s hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.

In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry’s latest technological developments.

In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star’s business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.

Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.

Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)