Shift of cargoes to regions pushed
ANTICIPATING heavier traffic during Christmas rush, two lawmakers yesterday urged the concerned government officials to start clearing some major roads and alternate routes in the National Capital Region.
Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez and Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu said the Christmas rush is expected to bring bigger traffic problem that would be costly to the country’s economy.
“We have to make sure that all roads are passable to lessen the impact of the expected heavy traffic due to Christmas rush,” said Romualdez.
“Parking on both sides of the roads should not be the case anymore to avoid heavy traffic in some major roads of Metro Manila,” Romualdez said, adding that local government units (LGUs) and barangay officials should help in clearing the major roads.
Abu agreed with Romualdez as he appealed to the Duterte administration to seriously consider shifting international container traffic to the Batangas and Subic ports to decongest Metro Manila.
Abu also renewed his call to transfer to the Batangas and Subic ports the bulk of cargo truck operating in the metropolis.
He cited last year’s 17-page study written by Ricardo Mira of the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) that using Batangas and Subic ports will address congestion in Metro Manila and bring growth to other regions.
The Batangas City lawmaker said the study cited a policy paper by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce in 2014 which said that some P17.5 billion was borrowed during the term of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to finance the development of the Batangas and Subic ports.
“With these investments, we have to maximize the use of these two ports and at the same time decongest Metro Manila,” Abu said, adding that most of the cargo being transported to and from Manila are destined for factories in the Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon (Calabarzon) region.
Based on the Mira report, it cited a study by supply chain stakeholders showing that some 70 percent of imported raw materials, equipment and consumer goods went to Metro Manila and northern Cavite, 18 percent to Laguna, six percent to Batangas and Quezon, and the rest to Pampanga and northern areas.
It stressed that the bulk of exports also come from Metro Manila and northern Cavite, which accounts for 73 percent of outgoing traffic, 15 percent from Laguna, 7 percent from Batangas and Quezon, and the rest from Pampanga and northern areas.