We got wind of recent achievements of the MMDA with regard to clearing many streets of the metro of illegally parked vehicles.
Word has it that almost 300 vehicles were towed and impounded during the agency's recent intensified anti-illegal parking operations.
Having seen the complete turnaround of the C5 service road between the Market, Market area and the Kalayaan intersection from being so previously clogged with parked vehicles that motorists would have to snake around or do a slalom between cars parked on both sides just to traverse the short distance, to what it is now (I hope it stays though) being cleared clean, enough to almost tempt some motorists to speed through it, the MMDA must really be up to its mandated task.
The said operations also reported to have yielded a total of 21 tricycles in Quezon City found appropriating parts of the streets for their illegal terminals. Although I know for a fact these tricycles have no business running on main thoroughfares.
On another front in the battle to discipline motorists to follow traffic laws, more than 10 thousand erring drivers were cited for various traffic violations by way of the agency's No Contact Apprehension system in which traffic violations are recorded using CCTV cameras strategically placed along metro roads.
MMDA acting chairman Tim Orbos may have a lot on his plate and with his hands full even, but despite this he seems so far to be doing his best and doing well to mitigate the daily traffic nightmare. Kudos.
I said theoretically but not absolutely because through the years car owners have learned to make sure that their second vehicle does not have the same plate number ending as their first, precisely to go around the traffic reducing scheme. But I guess the odd-even scheme is yet a more effective vehicle reduction system considering that there are still more motorists that are single-vehicle owners.
And I say this without any self-interest on the issue, on the contrary as of my last inspection; all the vehicles we use in the house are all ending in odd numbers. This is due to my being partial to that numeric group (111, 333, 777, 999, etc.), which I stretched to the hilt every time I got a brand new car-moron.
But really and truly, the odd-even arrangement would be a lot better and less confusing that the first suggestion presented, which would allow certain numbers on certain time windows and time frames. And such complex scheme could be a lightning rod for driver and traffic enforcer confrontations or further corruption in the streets.
But at the end of the day, car owners need not have to surrender their rights to make use of what they legally own if only there were effective and reliable mass transport systems, in whatever mode that are in place in the metro-and that, Mr. Watson is the elementary solution.
I can dream, can't I?
Everybody's talking and asking about it-the looming automobile price increase due to the almost certain tax increase.
One does not have to be brilliant to surmise that car prices would definitely go up upon the implementation of the much talked-about increase in vehicle taxes. The speculation is now just limited to how much-the tax increase and the inevitable rise in vehicle price-with the latter dependent on the former.
Whatever, but if you are really planning on buying a new vehicle and you're advancing your schedule due to what we just mentioned, just remember the mantra, "Test drive it before you buy it."
The next scheduled 'multi-brand' test drive event is on April 20 to 23 at the SM Mall of Asia where one can find all the top-selling brand new models currently available in the market gathered all together conveniently in a literally 'one stop shop', where car buyers and auto enthusiasts can see them real up close and have a test drive.
The following brands, in no particular order shall have their best models for the public to test drive; Ford, Isuzu, Honda, Mazda, Jeep, Mahindra, Suzuki, Toyota, Mitsubishi, SsangYong, Volkswagen and first-timer, Tata.
The Auto Focus Summer Multi Brand Test Drive Festival , like its 'Pre-Christmas' sibling, which gets going in the month of November offers the most convenient alternative to going from one automobile dealership to another while enduring the metro's daily nightmarish traffic gridlocks just to make cursory comparisons of car models that a buyer has his or her sights on. Furthermore, the test drive course that can be found within the very accessible venue can undeniably give you a better feel of your vehicle of interest compared to driving in stop and go traffic in the metro.
So if you are thinking of buying a car, go save the date and remember, "Test drive it, before you buy it."
I'm referring to the TV show Motoring Today, the weekend viewing habit that'll be celebrating its30th year of broadcast this June.
That's right, three decades and still counting. Every week of public service and information dissemination on all facets of motoring from transportation as well as traffic management concerns and issues, auto industry developments, vehicle maintenance, road safety, etc. Thanks to the continuing viewing patronage of motoring enthusiasts and automobile buffs plus the consistent support of most of those in the auto industry the show has survived and still has the fire in its belly to keep on.
But for those who have been missing watching the show on its longtime Sunday afternoon schedule, fret not because it's still very much "on the air" but this time on a more relaxed time of viewing, which is at 10 o'clock,Sunday evening on Solar Sports, Channel 70 of Sky Cable.
Now in the event that you still get to miss it sometime for one reason or another, there's still Motoring Today online (www.motoringtoday.ph) to go to, which you can log on at any time of the day for missed episodes or features you want to see all over again.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.
At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network’s AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart’s middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN’s DZYL and DZQL.
From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.
In the early 70’s, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).
In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports’ living legend Pocholo Ramirez.
After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN’s Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable’s Channel 13.
The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport’s hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.
In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry’s latest technological developments.
In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star’s business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.
Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.
Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)