Makati, Las Piñas, Mandaluyong to suspend 'window hours'
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Other than EDSA and C-5 road, the transportation department will suspend window hours for the number coding scheme along Roxas Boulevard, Alabang-Zapote Road, as well as the cities of Makati, Las Piñas, and Mandaluyong, starting next week.
This resolution will be implemented from October 17 this year to January 31, 2017, in a bid to address the expected rise of vehicles in Metro Manila this Christmas season, the department said in a statement.
Window hours refer to the 5-hour period (10 am-3 pm) when motorists covered by the number coding scheme on a specific day can still pass without being apprehended.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) had earlier announced that a dry run of the zero window hours resolution is set for October 12 to October 14. (READ: Starting Oct 31 on EDSA, C5: No more 'window hours' for private vehicles)
During the dry run from October 12 to 14, motorists caught violating the new resolution will not be apprehended. They will only be reminded by police officers.
Despite the projected 20% decrease in the number of private vehicles, another 15% increase is still expected in the coming Ber months. This reflects a reduction of 1,500 vehicles, which is equivalent to one lane, from the 7,716 private vehicles. I-ACT asserts that this should be enough measure to address the expected traffic congestion in Metro Manila this Christmas season.
No road repairs, mall sales
Other than the resolution, the DOTr said it has asked utility companies to suspend road repairs from November 1 to January 9.
"All road works by utility companies and government, but with the exclusion of flagship projects such as the Skyway 3," the department said.
The Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (i-ACT) also required mall operators not to schedule any mall sales during weekdays.
The DOTr said stakeholders settled to implement the agreement starting October 21.
The i-ACT also urged mall owners to start adjusting their mall operating hours from 11 am to 11 pm starting November 1 this year.
In the coming weeks, the department said the i-ACT will set a dialogue with mall traffic managers to discuss requirements of the traffic management plan, as well as the terms of cooperation between mall owners and the government to address traffic issues this holiday season.
While waiting for emergency powers to be granted, the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte formed the i-ACT to solve Metro Manila traffic.
During Duterte's first 100 days, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez admitted that the government failed to make significant improvements in the country's traffic and transportation problems. – with reports from Khristine Montenegro/Rappler.com