Lawmakers cool on 2-day number coding scheme

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Lawmakers have questioned the wisdom of expanding the vehicular number coding scheme as proposed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to ease traffic jams.

Sen. Grace Poe said the plan should be studied more while Rep. Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar said it will only worsen vehicular traffic.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim suggested banning private vehicles from major roads two days a week when he appeared before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation on Tuesday.

Celine Pialago, MMDA spokesperson, said that under the proposed coding scheme, plates ending in 1,2,3 and 4 will be prohibited on Mondays; 5, 6, 7 and 8 on Tuesdays; 9, 0, 1 and 2 on Wednesdays; 3, 4, 5 and 6 on Thursdays and 7, 8, 9 and 0 on Fridays.


Under the present number coding scheme, private vehicles are not allowed in major roads once a week.
Lim said there are 2.5 million to 2.6 million registered vehicles in Metro Manila.

“Sobrang dami talaga ng sasakyan dito sa [There are too mmany vehicles] in Metro Manila. So volume is the problem, it has to be decreased,” he said.

But Poe said the planned expanded number coding scheme should be studied thoroughly. The MMDA should first conduct consultations with concerned groups and agencies.

“Is this the most effective solution? Do we really need this? Is there a possibility that this will even worsen the situation instead of offering solution to the problem?” she said.

“We understand the great challenge being faced by MMDA to address traffic in Metro Manila. But there is no necessity to become impulsive in finding solutions,” Poe added.

In 2015, after examining 50 million users in 32 countries and 167 major city areas, Metro Manila was named by Waze— a GPS-based navigation app—as having the worst traffic on Earth.

Evardone, member of the House Committee on Transportation, also doubts if the planned scheme would solve the traffic problem.

“The two-day color coding proposal won’t solve the traffic [jam]problem. Those who can afford will just buy an additional car, thus aggravating the problem. In the meantime, employees who can’t afford an additional car will be displaced and will become unproductive because our public transport is very inefficient,” Evardone said in a statement.

He urged the MMDA to clear sidewalks, alternative routes and other obstructions that block traffic and to discipline drivers and commuters by enforcing traffic laws.

“These are a lot of short-term measures that can help ease traffic, aside from construction of efficient and affordable mass transport system,” Evardone added.
Joviland Rita,

with  LLANESCA PANTI

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