Press Release
September 14, 2015

Bam during the Traffic Hearing
Excerpt from the Hearing on the Worsening Traffic Conditions in Metro Manila by the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs

Sen. Bam: Maybe we can just ask what initiatives were done in the past weeks and the assessment of these initiatives. I know there were a few that were tried out.

Chairman Tolentino: As follow up to what Secretary Almendras said, the technical inter-agency working group has been formed and is now functioning. We were able to identify short-term choke points, involving the six major choke points of EDSA, following recommendations coming from HPG.

For instance, yesterday the bus stop in front of Nepa Q-Mart was moved a bit further north, additional concrete barriers for those coming from White Plains were placed, the recommendation coming from HPG on Day 1 that the wire mesh along EDSA Taft be removed, and a lot other detailed traffic engineering requirements coming from HPG approved by the technical working group were fully implemented.

Insofar as the last five days, perhaps we can say that we followed the requirements coming from HPG, to the point that we have now changed the previously exclusive HPG-manned six choke points.

Starting today, it's now MMDA, HPG working together. The 150 personnel coming from HPG were joined by 250 MMDA personnel on a 24-hour shift.

Question: has this been working? It is working. All MMDA personnel are now under the operational control and supervision of HPG, insofar as deployment, reassignment, movement is concerned. But there is just one small item, we need to adjust the 6 a.m. deployment period which has been observed by MMDA for the last several decades, i-a-adjust namin to 5 a.m. to coincide with what HPG is doing.

DPWH has just repainted all the bus lanes, LTFRB and LTO are on guard watching the movement of public utility along the loading bays and DOTC is supervising LTFRB and LTO. DILG, in cooperation with LGU, are going after illegal vendors and illegally parked vehicles.

Sen. Bam: Currently, the HPG and the MMDA have been doing, were implementing all the current rules that we have, iyong tamang pagbaba, tamang pagsakay, iyong yellow lane, that in itself, malaking tulong na iyan sa traffic.

The second layer there are new policies that we are doing. If I'm not mistaken, maybe you can tell us about the truck ban. Noong huli kaming nag-hearing ni Secretary Almendras, iyong truck ban was contributory to the port congestion.

So we want to make sure it doesn't happen again. May bagong policies pa ba tayong idadagdag, para lang malinaw sa nakikinig sa atin?

Chairman Tolentino: Last five days, we implemented turn left P. Tuazon provincial, turn right C-5 all the way to SLEX to their point of destination from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. It's a possibility that it will be extended for the duration of the day.

For the trucks, it was agreed upon by the inter-agency committee, concurred by the MMC Special Traffic Committee, starting tomorrow we will reinstate a circa 1978 truck regulation. We will have whole day 24/7 truck route coming from the pier going to Quirino, going to Osmena, SLEX, Cavitex. Except for the north, we will maintain south harbor, C-3, NLEX to the point of destination.

The purpose of this, and Secretary Almendras will agree, one, there's no more port congestion.

Number two, we are now laying the security predicate for the forthcoming APEC. The Osmena Highway will be utilized not just for Malacanang functions but for movement of the 20 heads of state.

Number three, we all realized that Skyway 3 is under construction. Tere is a need for wider Osmena Highway, specifically those infront of Philippine Columbian, Plaza Dilao.

The reinstatement of the truck ban will serve the three purposes and decongest the route of Skyway 3. People utilizing Osmena and Araneta are now utilizing EDSA as their main because they cannot utilize Osmena as a faster mode of mobility.

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