MANILA, Philippines - A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives to open major private subdivision roads in Metro Manila to motorists to ease traffic congestion.
Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, principal author of the bill, said yesterday his measure seeks to provide alternative routes or access to main thoroughfares, noting that traffic gridlocks in Metro Manila have worsened in the last 15 years.
“Unfortunately, traffic planners under the past administration have failed to adequately address this problem,” he said. “It behooves the government to address the problem more seriously. It is also imperative on the part of the private sector to contribute their share in the resolution of this problem.”
Rodriguez pointed out that the country is now faced with a scenario where employees in the public and private sectors, businessmen and students are not able to reach their destinations on time.
The traffic problem has also prevented the timely delivery of goods and services and resulted in the ever-increasing prices of goods and services, he added.
“It cannot be denied that the present traffic mess has affected the productivity of otherwise productive individuals to a great extent. The unproductive time spent by many in commuting has not only affected their personal advancement in their careers or professions but also the economic growth of the country in general,” he stressed.
The bill would apply to all housing subdivisions and villages situated in Metro Manila. A subdivision or village situated within Metro Manila would be required to open for public use at least one road within its boundaries to vehicular traffic.
The use of the subdivision or village roads would be limited to vehicles with a gross vehicular weight of up to 4,500 kilos.
The measure would mandate the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to identify the subdivisions or villages that would be asked to open at least one of the roads.
The DPWH would notify the affected homeowners associations and the residents of the subdivisions or villages at least 30 days before the opening of the roads to the public.
A subdivision that has opened a road for public use would be allowed to collect a reasonable fee that shall not exceed P5 from every vehicle passing through the road.
It may also collect an annual fee not exceeding P300 from every motorist using its access roads. The fee would be used to defray the cost of maintaining the subdivision or village roads as well as the cost of employing additional security personnel to man these roads.
The bill would amend Presidential Decree 957, otherwise known as the Subdivision and Condominium Buyers’ Protection Decree.