'No apprehension policy for trucks-for-hire not cause of traffic'
MANILA - The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is appealing for a stop to the blame game, saying government agencies should instead focus on finding ways on how to resolve Metro Manila's traffic problems.
The LTFRB's statement came after the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said the Board's no apprehension policy for trucks-for-hire with green plates is causing heavy traffic in C5-Katipunan area.
The LTFRB rebutted this and pointed out that trucks-for-hire with green plates have been plying the C5-Katipunan area and other streets of Metro Manila even before the Board implemented the no apprehension policy, which gives operators time to apply for a provisional authority to travel.
It also noted that traffic in C5 and EDSA has already been "horrendous" even before the implementation of the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) and Memorandum Circulars (MC).
Therefore, the observed heavy traffic in the area by the MMDA was not caused by the Board's new policies, it added.
"The implementation of the JAO for only more than a month should not be blamed for the terrible traffic situation in Metro Manila. The objectives of the JAO and our MCs are clear. It is to put order to PUVs in the streets to help ease traffic and definitely not to aggravate it," LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said.
Ginez also clarified that the Board's memo on trucks-for-hire did not lift the MMDA's truck ban, which means they did not allow the trucks to use C5 and Katipunan 24 hours a day.
He said the MMDA can and should have apprehended the trucks which are violating its truck ban.
The LTFRB extended the no apprehension policy until August 29 to allow trucks-for-hire with green plates to apply for their franchise and provisional permits.
The Board said it only wants to address the concerns of truck operators on the possible delays of delivery of goods "that could also potentially affect the prevailing prices of goods and commodities."
"The LTFRB and LTO, under the orders and supervision of the DOTC, have been arduously fixing and eradicating the ill practices of the past that have plagued these agencies. It is precisely for this reason why we increased the fines under the JAO, to instill discipline among our PUV operators and their drivers," Ginez said.
"However, we have to understand the economic impact should we be unreasonable with their genuine concerns. The task is enormous. What is important here is that both parties are working together to once and for all fix and rationalize franchises and their respective routes and permits," he added.
Ginez appealed to all stakeholders to work together and focus on improving the traffic situation in the metropolis.
Under the JAO, colorum bus operators will be fined P1 million; truck and van operators, P200,000; sedan operators, P120,000; jeepney owners, P50,000; and motorcycle operators, P6,000.