I expect a lot of flak for this article from those who would be directly affected by the proposed measure to limit deliveries in the metro to certain time frames that is, if it would ever be implemented. But indeed limiting daytime deliveries in Metro Manila only to essential items would undoubtedly lessen vehicle presence and indiscriminate parking while delivering nonessential goods and services. And this is no novel approach to traffic reduction as this practice is already being adopted in many major cities throughout the world. Believe me, because I always make it a point to ask whenever I get the chance to travel.
Try observing how long it takes for a vehicle to park while delivering LPG tanks, soft drinks, beer and other similar consumer items to distributors whose stores are located in busy narrow streets and in the process disrupting further the already normally restricted flow of traffic. And the situation gets worse when it comes to deliveries of appliances, furniture and the like, which would mean even bigger trucks that would take wider street space.
How much business disruption would it cause and cost if these deliveries were made during the night, say beginning twelve midnight.
I know this would mean some discriminatory sacrifice for those who would have to make some major adjustments in their business operations or even some added costs but then nothing really comes free, especially if we are talking about major "bite the bullet" solutions to decades-old problems.
Having to give up our right to the free use of things we own and bought with hard earned savings like our family cars is a major sacrifice when we abide by government-directed vehicle reduction schemes in the likes of the "odd/even" vehicle ban.
But then it's for the common good. And hopefully these sacrifices would last only up to the time when this government as well as the next would really step up and seriously work on coming up with a well thought-of mass transport system, which would be dependable, reliable and secure enough to convince private vehicle owners to take in travelling within the metro.
Some of the experts are saying that the"technical cause" of our traffic problem in Metro Manila is the presence of obsoletely narrow and not enough roads for a rapidly expanding population and growing economy. It means there are less roads than what is required for an increasing number of road users and a growing economy with more people that can afford to buy automobiles.
This means it's being clueless to blame the increasing number of automobiles as the cause of the nightmarish traffic. It's like blaming the government for having such an improving economy, which has increased the populace's buying power. That's why there are more automobiles on the road. Our economy is developing. It's not the fault of the auto industry.
So what's the solution? Give more space for the increasing road users. As there would be more problems in widening roads, it's better to go high up with elevated thoroughfares for added road space. And the government is visibly doing just that with the increasing number of PPPs building all those skyways as well as road linkages.
But then on a positive note, if the government would be able to sustain its present economic growth, the number of vehicles could continue to increase in a possible faster pace than the new roadway infrastructure that are being put up. A vicious cycle perhaps.
So what to do this time? Discourage the vehicle owners to use their vehicles for daily travel by offering a much-better alternative-a convenient, comfortable, reliable and secure mass transport system.
All these are easier said than done? Of course! But they can be done.
As I have mentioned in this column in the past, our country does not really have an honest to goodness Motor Vehicle Inspection Stations (MVIS) to speak of.
We may have one or two that try to disguise themselves as such but are they really MVIS in the true sense of what they should really be?
Having said that we can expect more tragic accidents involving rolling coffins that appear like legitimate-looking public utility buses or jeepneys in the future.
I guess it's about time for our government to admit that it cannot afford to put up and adequately run MVIS like when it honestly admitted some years back in the case of putting up testing stations for private vehicles.
Letting loose public utility vehicles (which have more passengers) that are not certified as safe transport poses a bigger danger with more lives at risk compared to private vehicles. And they (PUVs) are the ones that do not have any semblance of a legitimate safety inspection.
There are apprehensions about letting the private sector similarly handle the inspection and testing of PUVs due to possible collusion and corruption in the process.
But I would rather gamble on that than not having any semblance of the needed exercise at all.
No, I don't have any personal interest on this. No intentions whatsoever to go into the business.
But I must admit that I have a personal interest on saving human lives. But don't we all?
And allow me to pass on to you a similar concern by one of our readers, Mr. Bob Barretto who writes:
"…and how do the jeepneys register year after year when they are really the #1 violators of the smoke belching movement"
"…more and more jeepneys go flying down north to south on SLEX. Many times they will lose a wheel, or suffer a blowout at high speeds, always endangering the 19 or 20 poor souls they carry on their routes.
Jeepneys have no testing whatsoever for reliability, safety, etc. They are mostly built in some warehouse somewhere in Zapote or Malabon. They have no certifications and are mostly an assembly of mismatched parts"
A gentle nudge to the LTO-all in the interest of public service.
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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)