MMDA: ‘Last mile’ project effective in decongesting Port of Manila
MANILA, Philippines–After a week of implementation, the “last mile” project has so far led to “good results” in decongesting the Port of Manila and easing traffic flow on roads leading to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Sunday.
This was the observation made by a Cabinet cluster monitoring the situation, MMDA Assistant General Manager Emerson Carlos said during the MMDA’s weekly radio program.
Under the program, which started on Sept. 8, the last mile project allowed an estimated 3,000 cargo trucks to make deliveries to warehouses in Metro Manila by granting them an exemption from the current truck ban policy.
By the end of last week, Carlos noted that more than 1,000 trucks had applied for coverage under the program.
MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino, however, earlier announced that the last mile project was not applicable on Edsa where a total truck ban was being implemented, along with España Boulevard (from Quezon Boulevard to Rotonda), Ortigas Avenue (from Santolan to Sta. Lucia), Recto Avenue (from A. Santos to Legarda), Taft Avenue and other roads in business districts like Ayala in Makati City and Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
When asked if the program would be extended after its two-week run, Carlos said that this would depend on the volume of cargo coming into the Manila port especially with the forthcoming holiday season.
“The Metro Manila Council (the policy-making body of the MMDA) will decide if there is a need for an extension,” he added.
Carlos claimed that after the implementation of the last mile project and the creation of Task Force Pantalan tasked to monitor traffic from the port to the roads leading to NLEx, an improvement in vehicular flow was observed from the expressway until A. Bonifacio going to Road 10 in Manila.
The task force was established after a traffic jam on NLEx on Sept. 5 backed up traffic for roughly nine kilometers, a situation blamed on trucks bound for the Port of Manila.
Carlos also reiterated that the MMDA was “thankful” to Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada for his decision to lift the truck ban in his city.
Earlier, Tolentino said that Estrada’s move would help hasten the decongestion of the Port of Manila.
“As we revert to the pre-Manila ordinance situation, I am confident that with the help of all concerned private and government stakeholders, a sustainable solution will be crafted. I will immediately convene the Metro Manila Mayors Special Traffic Committee to craft a responsive scheme that will incorporate the City of Manila’s efforts with that of the national government,” he added.
On Saturday, Estrada signed Executive Order No. 67 lifting a seven-month-old ban on cargo trucks that had been blamed for port congestion, heavy losses for importers and exporters, food shortages, rising prices of basic goods and horrendous traffic in the metropolis.
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