EDITORIAL - Back to the truck ban
(The Philippine Star) - September 13, 2015 - 10:00am

With EDSA the focal point of public rage over the daily traffic gridlocks, the government has decided to reimpose the truck ban in Metro Manila, with a total ban to be enforced along EDSA. Palace officials explained that the truck ban, imposed for several months last year to ease heavy traffic, could be restored now that congestion in the Port of Manila has been addressed.

What the government must guard against is a return of port congestion due to the revival of the truck ban. The congestion problem has not been completely eliminated, and with the onset of the so-called “ber” months, Christmas business is also building up in the ports. The nation cannot afford a repeat of the port congestion, when items meant for the 2014 Christmas season remained piled up in warehouses until past the Chinese New Year in 2015.

Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, recently assigned as the so-called traffic czar, was the one tasked to resolve the port congestion, so by now he must be well versed on the problem. Last year the city government of Manila bowed to the national government on the truck ban amid complaints from the business community and studies showing that the consequent slowdown in port traffic was costing the country billions in economic losses.

 As in the city of Manila when the truck ban was imposed, the public will welcome smoother traffic flow when the trucks are kept out of EDSA. But those now given responsibility for traffic management must balance this gain with the needs of the business community. Traffic gridlocks and port congestion add to logistics costs, which are passed on to consumers. The new traffic managers must also ensure that bottlenecks on EDSA are not simply transferred to C-5 and other alternate roads.

Any effort to ease the daily suffering of motorists and commuters is appreciated. From the experience last year, however, the truck ban must be reimposed with caution.

 

BAN CABINET SECRETARY JOSE RENE ALMENDRAS CHINESE NEW YEAR CONGESTION EDSA GOVERNMENT METRO MANILA PORT PORT OF MANILA TRAFFIC TRUCK
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