Business Cost NewsPart 4 News: General Business Environment

Phl losing P153 B each year due to traffic jams – lawmaker

This is an article repost.

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine economy is losing $3.6 billion or P153 billion every year due to traffic congestion, particularly in Metro Manila, a lawmaker said Friday.

1-Utak party-list Rep. Homer Mercado cited a United States report that stated $1 billion is lost in wasted gasoline, electricity, man-hours and hiring of traffic aides and the remaining $2.6 billion to reduced sales and investment disincentives.

“The study added that total loss would exceed $36 billion in 10 years, noting that the average speed of a vehicle has slowed to 12.6 kilometers per hour today from 18 kilometers per hour 10 years ago,” Mercado said.

He blamed the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila to the proliferation and operation of colorum and kambal-plaka vehicles despite preventive measures being implemented by various transportation agencies.

“The continuous growth in numbers of colo­rum vehicles adds to the traffic congestion in Metro Manila and some other part of the country,” he said.

He asked the House committee on transportation to assess the effectivity of programs and measures being implemented by government agencies to address the problem.

He earlier filed House Resolution 1441, where he requested the panel to look into a Sept. 6, 2009 report of the Commission on Audit (COA) asking the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to impound a total of 40,754 colorum vehicles believed to have been given license plates assigned to public utility vehicles granted franchises to operate.

Mercado said based on the audit conducted by the COA, it was found that Land Transportation Office (LTO) registered 297,769 units of vehicles for hire in 2009. However, based on the records of LTFRB, only 255,015 units have been granted franchise to operate as public utility vehicles, Mercado said.

“Vehicles for hire were registered with the LTO and issued yellow plates despite failure of owners to present evidence confirming that an LTFRB franchise has been secured for the vehicle,” he said.

Mercado said there is even a report that a valid yellow license plate number has been illegally duplicated three times and used by three other vehicles, passing itself as a public utility vehicle, also known as “kambal plaka.”

“How can something like this happen if LTFRB regulation provides that vehicles for hire cannot be registered without a confirmation of a franchise letter coming from the LTFRB,” Mercado said.
By: Paolo Romero
Source: The Philippine Star, Aug. 14, 2011
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