In this May 16, 2019 photo, Senate President Tito Sotto answers questions from the media during the Kapihan sa Senado forum.
The STAR/Mong Pintolo, File
Sotto says banning parking on Metro Manila streets will decongest EDSA
( - August 13, 2019 - 6:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — Getting rid of parked vehicles along the streets of Metro Manila will ease the traffic woes along EDSA, the metropolis’ main thoroughfare, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said.

Sotto suggested that implementing a “no parking” policy in all city streets would encourage those with private vehicles to take alternative routes to their destinations, leaving EDSA to commuters.

“I go back to my original proposal. The real solution in decongesting EDSA is 'no parking' [policy] in Metro Manila,” the Senate president said during a hearing on the planned ban on provincial buses.

Citing his experience, Sotto said it takes him two hours and 10 minutes to get from his house in Quezon City to the Senate in Pasay City and back if he traverses EDSA. But if he takes side streets—which are filled with obstructions—travel time is only around one hour and 15 minutes.

“Can you imagine if we remove all these parking (parked vehicles)? EDSA will be decongested because private vehicles no longer have to pass through it. There are a lot of buses. Leave EDSA to buses and commuters. The rest of the vehicles should use inner roads,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, for his part, said it is time that lawmakers approve the Proof of Parking bill, which he refiled in the 18th Congress.

If it becomes a law, individuals and business based in Metro Manila should execute an affidavit confirming they have acquired, either through purchase or lease, a parking space before being allowed to buy vehicles.

The proposed legislation would also mandate the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Land Transportation Office and local government units to remove illegally parked vehicles and penalized vehicle owners who refuse to comply.

“The street is primarily intended for vehicular or foot traffic and should not be appropriated as personal parking spaces for these vehicles,” Gatchalian had said last month.

In his fourth State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte called on the MMDA to “reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends.”

The 60-day deadline given to Metro Manila mayors to clear the roads of all kinds of obstructions started last July 29. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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