THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Friday threw its support behind a measure that seeks to require car buyers to show proof that they have parking space before they can buy a car.
Lawyer Emerson Carlos, MMDA assistant general manager for operations, said the move can help in easing traffic congestion in Metro Manila (National Capital Region or NCR).
“Yes, because the volume of vehicles on the road can no longer be accommodated by our limited road network,” Carlos replied when asked about MMDA’s view on the proposal.
He said this limitation should be compensated by an efficient, comfortable and acceptable mass public transport system.
Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzuela City (Metro Manila) sponsored the congressional bill, saying car sales are expected to reach 300,000 units by 2015, on the back of a robust economy, a growing middle class and increased remittances from Filipinos working abroad.
In filing the measure, Gatchalian said traffic congestion in the nation’s capital is worsened by idle vehicles parked on the sides of streets, hampering flow of automobile and foot traffic.
While the projected uptick in car sales is good news for the automotive industry, he added, it is bad news for NCR motorists and commuters, who must brace themselves for slower traffic as more cars join the vehicle population.
Gatchalian pointed out that motor vehicle owners should be made responsible for providing a permanent parking space for their own private vehicles, whether this space is made an integral part of their house, building or leased property.
Another proposal made earlier by Ariel Inton, a board member of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), sought to ban private vehicles from using Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) during morning rush hours on weekdays.
But MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said Inton’s measure needs careful study as this would elicit strong opposition from private motorists.
He added that unless the country came up with an effective mass transit system, the LTFRB board member’s proposal would be difficult to implement.
Under Inton’s proposal, a private vehicle will not be allowed on EDSA from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. four days a week but will be allowed to pass through other roads.
All vehicles will be allowed along EDSA and other roads from 9 a.m. onward.