House to summon Ginez
Marvin Sy , Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - August 5, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The House committee on Metro Manila development will summon Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Winston Ginez for his agency’s policies that have worsened the traffic congestion in Metro Manila and cost the economy billions of pesos.

Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, chairman of the panel, said Ginez will have to explain his latest directive extending again the “no apprehension policy” on trucks that have to be granted franchises. 

Castelo cited as an example the daily traffic jams motorists encounter along C-5 Road, Katipunan Avenue and other streets in Quezon City because of the LTFRB order.

Official data showed that the volume of trucks that passed along Katipunan Avenue in front of Ateneo de Manila University’s Gate 3 rose by 80 percent from 7,959 to 14,380 during the past week immediately after the LTFRB extended by one month the implementation of the no-apprehension policy on trucks.

LTFRB Board Resolution 05 states that all for-hire trucks with green plates can freely pass along C-5 Road for an extension of one month from July 29 to Aug. 29 without fear of getting apprehended.

Circulars questioned

Meanwhile, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago questioned the legality of two memorandum circulars (MCs) recently issued by the LTFRB, which were blamed for the traffic gridlocks in different parts of Metro Manila. 

LTFRB MC 2014-009 suspended operations against colorum and out-of-line public utility buses, while MC 2014-010 allowed PUBs to modify their routes and pass through major thoroughfares, such as EDSA, from June 19 to Oct. 17.

Santiago has filed a resolution that not only expresses the sense of the Senate that the circulars and the resolution are legally flawed, but also calls for an inquiry into these issuances “because they prejudice public transport safety to benefit only a few.”

She said that “it appears in the LTFRB resolution that the LTFRB only consulted with the business sector and the trucking companies. Had they consulted with motorists and commuters, the Metro Manila traffic situation could have been different.”

Citing various studies, Santiago noted that the LTFRB’s no apprehension policy increased travel time and decreased travel speed in both lanes of the Commonwealth Avenue-Osmeña Highway route. 

In the southbound lane, the route’s travel time suffered a 73.6 percent increase, while the travel speed slowed to down 41 percent.

Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian, on the other hand, called for a congressional inquiry on the legality of the two circulars. 

 

BOARD RESOLUTION CHAIRMAN WINSTON GINEZ COMMONWEALTH AVENUE-OSME KATIPUNAN AVENUE LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY BOARD LTFRB MANILA UNIVERSITY METRO MANILA MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO QUEZON CITY
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