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MNTC supports UP NCTS’ road and safety research lab upgrade

(From left to right) Rodrigo E. Franco, MNTC president, Pascual, Pangilinan, Dr. Hilario Sean O. Palmiano, NCTS’ new director; and Ramoncito Fernandez, MPTC president, pose for posterity after unveiling the Road Safety Research Laboratory marker.

(April 18)— The UP National Center for Transportation Studies (NCTS), considered the leading institution in transportation research and training in the Philippines, received from the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) a total of P1.89 million in donations for the repair, renovation and equipment upgrade of its Road Safety Research Laboratory (RSRL).  

The MNTC, a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), operates and maintains the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), formerly known as the North Diversion Road and Manila North Expressway. It is the main infrastructure backbone that connects Metro Manila to people in Central and Northern Luzon originally controlled by the Philippine National Construction Corporation.

MNTC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan formally turned over the donations to UP President Alfredo E. Pascual on April 11 at the RSRL. MNTC’s donations include one set of personal computer and six software that will help the NCTS in gathering more information on road safety and make better simulation studies on various traffic scenarios.

RSRL staff demonstrate the donated software.

The new software products are comprised of the Anadelta Tessera, a multi-functional road design and construction program; TSIS-CORSIM, a microscopic traffic simulation software package for signal, highway and freeway systems; SIDRA Intersection, a computer software package that models traffic intersections including light vehicles, heavy vehicles and pedestrians; VisSim, a block diagram language for creating complex nonlinear dynamic systems; Highway Capacity Software (HCS 2010), the updated modules regarding the new procedures for signalized intersections, roundabouts, basic freeway segments, freeway weaving segments, freeway merge and diverge segments; and Synchro Studio 8, which is used to perform capacity analysis for signalized intersections and Sim Traffic microscopic simulation.

In addition, MNTC donated three handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) and one Lidar Speed Gun to help further improve the NCTS’ road safety education and research programs. The GPS, a system developed by the United States’ Department of Defense, is often used by civilians as a navigation system.

In recognition of MNTC’s support, the NCTS named the refurbished laboratory as the NLEX Road Safety Research Laboratory (NRSRL). Through the MNTC’s endowment for its modernization, the NRSRL aims to enhance road safety in the Philippines through research and extension activities.

During the program, Dr. Ricardo G. Sigua, RSRL head, provided the technical briefing about the donated software as well as information on the role of NCTS in the country’s transport system.

Lidar Speed Gun

Sigua said the RSRL was established to improve road safety in the country through research as well as help strengthen the NCTS’ activities in the aspect of road safety.

In the same event, the NRSRL marker was unveiled by Rodrigo E. Franco, MNTC president, Pascual, Pangilinan, Dr. Hilario Sean O. Palmiano, NCTS’ new director; and Ramoncito Fernandez, MPTC president.

The turnover of donations further strengthened the partnership between the MNTC and UP which was initially established when both institutions signed a Memorandum of Agreement on November 4, 2011 to implement the “NLEX sa Edukasyon” program and MPTC’s scholarship program. MPTC currently provides scholarship grants to 10 students taking up engineering courses in UP, Bulacan State University and Holy Angel University.

The event was hosted by Dr. Maria Shiela G. Napalang, an assistant professor of the School of Urban and Regional Planning.—H.C.P.