Bam: Losses to Heavy Traffic to Reach P6B by 2030

If not fully addressed immediately, a senator warned that economic losses due to heavy traffic in Metro Manila could balloon to P6 billion a day from the current P2.4 billion by 2030.

For this reason, Sen. Bam Aquino has filed a resolution seeking to review the existing Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development to formulate effective strategies and solutions to address the negative economic impact of the worsening traffic conditions in Metro Manila.

“Commuters as well as private vehicle owner suffer the monstrous and extremely costly traffic every day in Metro Manila,” Sen. Bam stressed in his Senate Resolution No. 1532, citing a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

The study entitled, “Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metro Manila and Surrounding Areas,” was conducted in coordination with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and other relevant agencies.

The roadmap was approved last Sept. 2, 2014 by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board.

According to the study’s preliminary analysis, Sen. Bam said the lower-income households will be the hardest hit when congestion worsens by 2030 as they will spend no less than 20 percent of their monthly household income for transport.

“Without intervention, traffic demand will likely increase by 13 percent in 2030, and transport cost will be 2.5 percent higher,” Sen. Bam said.

According to Sen. Bam, relevant government agencies and local government units must contribute to the crafting to an effective planning strategies and traffic management systems in order to improve traffic conditions in Metro Manila.

“The MMDA cannot solve the worsening traffic condition alone. The DPWH, Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulating Board (LTFRB), and the private sector must also do their share in solving the dilemma,” said Sen. Bam.

Among the factors that contributed to the worsening traffic condition is the significant population increase in Metro Manila which now stands at 16.5 million.

“Maaantala ang ating kaunlaran kung ang araw-araw na biyahe ay ikalulugi ng ating mga mamamayan at ng buong bansa,” added Sen. Bam, a micro, small and medium enterprises’ welfare advocate.

Probe on Crooked Emission Testing Centers – Sen. Bam

Senator Bam Aquino is alarmed by reports that some emission testing centers engage in illegal activities such as non-appearance scheme or ghost testing of motor vehicles in exchange for additional fees.

“There had been reports that the private and public emission testing centers in LTO are remiss in their duties in properly implementing the law through the issuance of false emission compliance certificates (ECCs),” Aquino said.

In line with this, Aquino filed a resolution seeking to look into the efficiency of emission testing centers in the issuance of ECC as one of the basic requirements of the Land Transportation Office before a vehicle is processed for renewal registration.

Aquino said illegal activities by some testing centers defeat the purpose of Republic Act 9749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act, which was passed in 1999 to maintain the quality of air and protect human life from the dangers of air pollution.

Under the Clean Air Act, a National Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program has been established to promote the efficient and safe operation of motor vehicles and ensure the reduction of emissions from motor vehicles.

As part of the program, vehicles are required to undergo inspection and maintenance program as a requisite for renewal of registration and mandatory inspection to determine compliance with the in-use emission standards.

“The national government should be able to provide a quick systematic solution to the proliferation of these false ECCs in order to promote overall motor vehicle safety and prescribe an intensive convergence program towards the full implementation of the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999,” Aquino said.

Aquino said continuing increase in motor vehicles, lack of mass public transit system, and worsening traffic conditions further contribute to increasing air pollution.

“Needless to state, all motor vehicles (MV) must comply with exhaust emission standards prior to registration and operation in public highways,” he said.

With the increasing air pollution, the Philippines is now ranked 114th in the recent Environmental Performance Index (EPI) report released by Yale University in terms of environmental performance of a state’s policies

In terms of air quality, the Philippines ranked 85th and 110th in health impacts.

According to latest data from the Department of Health (DOH), 60 percent of lung cancer cases and other respiratory related diseases in the Philippines are because of air pollution.



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