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National

MMDA blames LTFRB truck policy for Katipunan traffic jams; meeting set next week

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Thursday pinned the blame for the traffic jams plaguing motorists on Katipunan Ave. and C5 Road to an ill-considered policy of the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board relaxing rules on trucks.

MMDA shared data it compiled showing an 80.67-percent increase in the volume of trucks that traverse Katipunan Avenue (in front of Ateneo Gate 3) since LTFRB extended the implementation of the "No Apprehension Policy" on July 21, 2014.

The "No Apprehension Policy" gives operators of trucks with green plates until Aug. 29 to apply for provisional authorities (PAs) to be allowed to operate on national roads.

Per LTFRB Board Resolution No. 05 Series of 2014, all for-hire trucks with green plates may freely pass along C5 for an extension of one month, from July 29 to August 29, 2014 without fear of getting apprehended.

MMDA’s figures for July 25, 2014, during the implementation of the policy, showed 14,380 trucks traversing Katipunan – already a busy area as it hosts two major schools, Ateneo de Manila University and Miriam College - twice last year’s number of 7,959.

“Our records only justify that vehicular bottleneck along Katipunan Avenue is the adverse effect of the new truck issuance of the LTFRB,” MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said.

Tolentino indicated, though, that he, together with Metro Manila Mayors, would be willing to sit down with the LTFRB on the matter.

DOTC, LTFRB, MMDA meet next week

Later on Thursday, LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez said ranking officials of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), LTFRB and the MMDA are set to meet next week to clarify issues regarding traffic congestion alongC5 Road and Katipunan Avenue.

Ginez earlier denied allegations that it was the extension of the LTFRB's “No Apprehension Policy” on trucks with green plates that was causing the traffic snarls.

While the MMDA claimed that the traffic congestion was due to the LTFRB’s extension of the “No Apprehension Policy,” the LTFRB said that even before the policy was implemented, there was already an increase of trucks with green plates using the two roads.

Ginez stressed that the board’s policy on trucks did not lift the truck ban being imposed by the MMDA along major roads in the metropolis, including Epifanio de los Santos Ave. (EDSA), C5 Road, Katipunan Ave., and Commonwealth Ave..

He added that the "No Apprehension Policy" should not stop the MMDA from apprehending and imposing fines on trucks with green plates if a violation of the truck ban is proven.