June 19, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Panel tackles Metro Manila transportation woes

THE House Committee on Metro Manila Development chaired by Manila Rep. Rolando Valeriano on Wednesday discussed the various issues related to traffic in Metro Manila.  

Among the issues tackled was the reported citation of motorcycle passengers on the dress code for motorcycle riders, as prescribed under the Metro Manila Traffic Code of 2023.

1-RIDER Party-list Rep. Bonifacio Bosita, reiterated his position that the restriction on wearing slippers should only apply to the drivers of motorcycles and public utility vehicles (PUVs), due to hygienic practices and their safety, and not to their “angkas” or passengers .

He said that the inclusion of the dress code violation for motorcycle passengers in the respective ordinances of Metro Manila local government units is in conflict with Land Transportation Office Administrative Order No. 2008-2015, and was implemented without consultation with stakeholders. 

“Under the Metro Manila Traffic Code, ang mga riders na may angkas or pasaherong naka slippers hinuhuli nila at pinagmumulta nila. Ito po ay validated information. Hindi po ito dumaan sa mga consultation, especially sa level ng local government units,” Bosita said.

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), in its position paper, maintained that the requirement for motorcycle back riders or passengers to wear shoes serves as a safety measure. 

The dangers faced by drivers or operators of motorcycles can also be experienced by motorcycle passengers or back riders, it said. “Hence, the Metro Manila Council found it prudent to apply the same restriction to both rider and back rider,” it said.

The MMDA nonetheless promised to amend the Traffic Code, with prior consultation with the riding community and the Metro Manila Council. 

Also discussed was Bataan Rep. Albert Garcia’s proposal, which he articulated on the floor last Nov. 14, 2023, suggesting that electric vehicles (EVs) be allowed to use the EDSA busway as a form of incentive to promote the use of the eco-friendly vehicles.

Garcia said the set up is being practiced in other countries, especially in Norway where 82 percent of the vehicles are electric. 

“Just imagine, kung ganun mangyari sa ating bansa, kahit ma-stuck (tayo) sa traffic at buksan natin ang ating bintana ay sariwang hangin ang ating malalanghap,” he said.

Edmund Araga, president of Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines, supported Garcia’s proposal as a solution to providing additional privileges for EV users. 

He said this would further promote the use EV under Republic Act 11697 or the EVIDA (Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act Philippines) Law. 

The committee also held initial discussions on HB 4363, authored by Parañaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting, which seek to provide the President of the Republic of the Philippines with emergency powers to address the traffic crisis in Metro Manila.

Tambunting explained that giving the President emergency powers would enable the immediate implementation of long-term solutions and remedial measures to solve the traffic crisis without hindrance and in the shortest time possible. 

“Drastic solutions are needed if we are to fight this crisis and immediate measures are needed to be undertaken,” he said.