Gov’t urged to appoint traffic czar to address Metro Manila transport crisis | Inquirer News

Gov’t urged to appoint traffic czar to address Metro Manila transport crisis

/ 05:05 AM January 30, 2024

Heavy traffic is seen along EDSA in Pasay City. worst traffic metro manila

Heavy traffic is seen along EDSA in Pasay City. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines — The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) on Monday called on the government to appoint a traffic czar to oversee the transport situation in Metro Manila, characterizing its current state in the urban metropolis as having escalated into “crisis” levels.

The 73-year-old influential business group said the government must recognize the crisis was the result of a failure in traffic management and that a change in road and traffic management policies and practices was essential.


“For this paradigm shift to happen, the MAP recommends, as a first step, the declaration of a traffic crisis and the appointment of a new traffic management team to be headed by a traffic czar appointed by the President,” MAP said in a statement.


The designated traffic czar, it added, must be vested with full powers and authority to mobilize, direct and deploy existing government resources, both on the national and local levels.

The business group also recommended a holistic approach that includes organizing Metro Manila into four traffic management zones, each to be headed by a qualified traffic manager.

These traffic managers, in turn, would report to and be accountable to the traffic czar, it added.

‘Mabuhay lanes’

The MAP also proposed the revival of new “Mabuhay lanes,” which were basically designated interior streets serving as alternate routes to main arterial roads such as Edsa, C4, C5 and other radial roads.

The group said that the government must clear these lanes by prohibiting parking for vehicles during traffic peak hours in the morning and evening. Violators must be penalized by having their vehicles towed or impounded.

It also proposed that the direction of traffic flows on Metro Manila streets be revised in order to minimize “conflicts” at intersections. This could be done by limiting “left turns” and “crossings” as well as prohibiting “U-turns” except only in suitable locations.


Privatize MRT, LRT ops

At the same time, MAP recommended complying with the 2017 National Transport Plan formulated by the National Economic and Development Authority, prioritizing policies for mass public transport over the use of private vehicles.

The group’s other recommendations included completion of the Edsa busway system, the privatization of the operation and maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and the Light Rail Transit Line 2, among others.

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According to a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Philippine economy lost P3.5 billion daily in 2017 due to traffic in Metro Manila, a costly loss that would balloon to P5.4 billion per day in 2035 without intervention.

TAGS: Metro Manila public transport

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