‘Pay as you go’: NEDA studies road usage fee during peak hours

A proposal to impose congestion charges in Metro Manila’s business districts is being evaluated by the government, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

In a report by BusinessWorld, Transportation Undersecretary Mark Richmund M. de Leon said that the proposal was submitted to a technical working group of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

“The objective of the proposal is to remove the congestion in central business areas, so you pay. If you want to use your car during peak hours, you pay a certain amount,” De leon said.

According to the Transportation official, the proposal covers congestion charges in business districts during peak hours.

De leon said that the Singaporean government is providing the concept and the technology to implement the congestion-pricing scheme.

He said that the project will push through once NEDA approves the proposal which was submitted to the agency in “November or December.”

Meanwhile, De Leon also noted that there is an oversupply of vehicles that are traversing Metro Manila roads.

“Regardless of how good our bus system is, there’s terrible traffic along EDSA, vehicles are not moving, so what we need is to reduce cars,” he added.

Data released by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. showed that combined sales with the Truck Manufacturers Association reached 369,941 units last year, higher than the 357,410 units sold in 2018.

The 3.5-percent growth is seen to have been driven by the performance of the commercial vehicle (CV) segment, helping reverse the double-digit (16 percent) decline of 2018. CVs accounted for over 70 percent of total sales rising by five percent to 260,744 units last year from 248,390 units in 2018.

Meanwhile, several lawmakers proposed measure to resolve traffic congestion in the metropolis, such as the ‘no garage, no car’ policy.

Last year, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian asked President Duterte to certify as urgent the proof-of-parking-space bill. – Arjay L. Balinbin

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