MAP wants gov’t to address Metro Manila traffic woes

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - November 29, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) wants government to immediately address the severe traffic problem in Metro Manila, which is estimated to cost P3.4 billion for 13.4 million person trips daily or P250 per person trip per day.

“MAP begs the authorities to do something about the horrendous daily traffic in the metropolis. The MAP is directly affected because the employees of its members have been crying for a solution,” the business group said yesterday.

It said the daily cost of traffic congestion is estimated at P3.4 billion for 13.4 million person trips based on factors like the value of time lost due to delay, fuel costs, vehicle operating costs, health impact and greenhouse gas emission or pollution.

The daily cost estimate translates to P250 per person trip per day, which is around 40 percent of the P600 daily minimum wage in Metro Manila.

MAP president Riza Mantaring said in a text message yesterday the estimate is based on a traffic study done by Almec Consultants commissioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

MAP said the daily traffic cost can be viewed in another way or by looking at the cost of rice in Metro Manila.

Retail price of the staple as of Nov. 21 was  at P27 per kilo for regular milled rice and P50 per kilo for the premium variant, or an average of around P35.

MAP said transport cost in Metro Manila is estimated to account for 25 to 29 percent of the cost of product, but the number may

be higher or at 40 percent for rice as there are many costs involved from sources in the provinces to retail.

“Thus, a reduction of transport cost to even 25 percent (from 40 percent) would result in a 60 percent reduction in the cost of rice – from P35/kilo to P14/kilo.  An impossible dream? Perhaps but worth fighting for as one can imagine the increase in productivity, the improvement in the quality of life for the commuter while also bringing down the cost of food to a level accessible to many more persons,” MAP said.

As MAP made an appeal to government, it also proposed measures to address the problem.

Among the recommendations is to have honest-to-goodness enforcement to have motorists, both public and private, to comply with the regulation and pay fines for violations.

MAP said the government should maximize, as well as regulate the existing public utility vehicles (PUVs) to move more commuters faster than at present by putting more commuter transport vehicles on the road at the right time, as well as having a system to quickly unload and load passengers at designated stops and not allowing them to linger.

MAP said PUVs must be given priority in the use of limited road space by allocating more lanes to them and the number coding system should not apply to them during rush hours (5 a.m to 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.).

MAP also proposed that a special flying mobile task force be assigned to unclog chokepoints along critical routes.

“It boils down to:strict enforcement of traffic rules; strict supervision of traffic personnel and accountability imposed; PUVs to be operated efficiently as main people mover system, not private cars;  PUV lanes to be used efficiently to move PUVs, not for parking or idling of PUVs,” MAP said.

It added central traffic command must closely monitor traffic conditions and quickly give commands to field personnel to untangle traffic.


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