Dec 06, 2017

EDSA yellow lane blues

Yes, we now see hordes of traffic enforcers strictly enforcing the 'yellow lane' rules along EDSA. But is it really enforcing them strictly, the only way to go to be effective in achieving the ultimate goal of managing traffic?

If you will look at the figures recently released by the MMDA the agency has cited in a span of a few days over 500 drivers of both PUVs and private vehicles for violation of the rules regarding the use of yellow lanes. But despite this, we still see a lot of these violations especially among bus drivers and with impunity at that.

Many bus drivers have maintained their arrogance in showing their utter disregard for traffic rules, especially about the limitations set by the yellow lanes with their perennial "me first" attitude in their quest for passengers, which is still paramount in their mindset. A mindset ingrained since the establishment of the "boundary system" as the only way to determine the present inequitable sharing of driver and operator.

It is my firm belief that as long as we do not put a stop to the long drawn malpractice of the "boundary system", we shall always find it very difficult to make drivers obey any rule that would jeopardize their being able to reach their "boundary" requirement and succeed to put food on the table on any day they ply their route. Make drivers regular monthly salaried employees and we will see a complete turnaround among their ranks. We will start seeing drivers queuing for passengers instead of dying or killing just to have them.

And now the MMDA now appears to have noticed that the supposed strict implementation of the rules is not working well enough to achieve a better traffic flow along EDSA, as the metro's traffic management agency is now mulling higher or stiffer penalties for violators.

There are a number of factors that cause the daily traffic woes of metro citizens and denizens and the lack of PUV drivers' discipline is one main factor among them. Give our PUV drivers the dignity of being a regular salaried employee and you will see a better-disciplined driver who's proud to be called and known to be one.

Besides there is already a law passed to stop this highly inequitable "boundary system" of public utility driver's remuneration. With this supposed "strong willed government", why can't we implement it?

Are new taxi apps better options?

A lot have been said and are still being said by commuters who feel that having no better options, they are left with nothing else but to choose between the two existing app-oriented transport hailing companies.

But Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman, Atty. Martin Delgra may have some good news for those who feel that they just have to "bite the bullet" in some situations and pay higher transport fees for one reason or another like "high demand", with the possible approval of at least two taxicab-hailing apps perhaps before the end of the year.

These up and coming apps that have been named as 'MiCab' and 'MyRide' are described to be operable in six or seven other regions outside of Metro Manila, a more expansive and flexible operation than Grab and Uber.

With the public given a wider choice, better service is expected from the present players who would inevitably be given a run for their money.

Peugeot launches new SUV lineup

It's finally here!

Last year I had the opportunity to test drive in France and other parts of Europe what was later on declared as the 2017 European Car of the Year-the All-New Peugeot 3008 SUV. Together with a select group of motoring journalists we all agreed that the long, cross- Europe test drive brought out the best of the model and were unanimous in saying that it should be brought to Philippine shores. And it turned out to be a long wait.

But as they say, "When it rains, it pours," as Peugeot Philippines recently presented exclusively to the motoring media their latest offerings to the market- Peugeot's new range of SUVs that included not only the All-New 3008 but the new2008 Compact SUV and the All-New 5008 7-seater SUV.

"We are very excited to be unveiling these three new vehicles to the Philippine automotive media for the first time," Peugeot Philippines president Glen Dasig remarked during the event held in their C5 showroom. "Peugeot's new SUV range represents the brand's bold move into the future," the dapper top executive added. Stressing a point the young but dynamic auto industry ceo further explained, "Taking inspiration from both urban landscapes and rough terrain, the new Peugeot SUV range possess a confidant stance with the driver at the heart of its design. Everything about the design of our new SUV range enhances the driver's experience" .

The media launch of the trio of premium Peugeot SUVs coincided with the 'Thanksgiving Dinner' for motoring journalists in appreciation for their continuing service to the motoring public providing all the latest information about the auto industry to include Peugeot.

Honda's 2018 Odyssey takes the spotlight

Is this now the trend?

Honda Cars Philippines (HCPI) held a Thanksgiving Party cum Launch last week at the BGC. Sharing the limelight with the flowing food and drinks was the New Odyssey for 2018.

There's a lot to say about the new Odyssey, which you can better appreciate when you see it up close and personal. But allow me to zero in on some of the convenience features, which HCPI president, Noriyuki Takakura described in our on TV interview, " The New Odyssey has always been known for being loaded with convenience features. Both the EX-V Navi and EX variants now come in standard with a Smart Entry with Push Start System, which was previously available exclusively for the EX-V Navi. Also, a 7" Touch Screen Display Audio System with Bluetooth for hands-free telephone (HFT) functionality and audio streaming come in standard for both variants with the EX-V Navi having the additional Navigation, 9" Rear Entertainment System with DVD and HDMI playback capability as added features."

The New Odyssey is now available at all Honda Car Philippines dealerships starting at a suggested retail price of Php 2,449,000 for the top of the lineEX-V Navi variant and Php 2,039,000 for the EX variant .

Happy Motoring!!!

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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)