Aug 24, 2016

Will it work?

Some legislators are reportedly seriously working on a bill that in essence would not allow anybody to purchase an automobile unless there is proof that the said vehicle would have a garage.

The main provision of House Bill 5098 or the Proof of Parking Space Act requires anyone who buys a new car should be able to prove to the LTO (Land Transportation Office) that it will have a parking space before it can be registered.

This proposed legislation, which is also dubbed by some as the "No garage, no car" bill is aimed to be part of the many measures that are being thought of to help alleviate the present traffic crisis, which is further exacerbated by narrow roads made narrower by an array of road obstructions counting greatly among them parked vehicles, many belonging to those that do not have garages and make use of the public roads to park their cars when not in use.

At first glance the intention of the bill is quite straightforward and simple. It considers that our present traffic problem is traced to many factors, one of which is road congestion. Now, congestion is not only caused by the steadily increasing number of vehicles using the same number of roads, which are to begin with already obsoletely narrow. The congestion is further aggravatedby cars parked in the streets that do not have garages.

Now there's not much that the government can do about our narrow roads, except to build more additional roads like skyways. The steadily increasing number of vehicles should never be viewed as a negative factor in the equation as it is an indication of our country's developing economy giving our populace the money to buy more vehicles. So, what's left? Take out the parked cars.

But is this "no garage, no car" bill the best, most practical and most effective way to take out the illegally parked cars? Perhaps not, knowing the penchant of Pinoys to go around restrictions and the creativity that almost always comes along such inclination. The mere feeling of being restricted to own a car, an innate Pinoy passion, would just further induce their creative juices to skirt the constraint.

In its stage of infancy, the bill would probably need a lot more tweaking or fine-tuning because as it is, many are saying that there are a lot of loopholes to maneuver out of violating it and around it.

But if there's one thing that our legislators should be careful with is to ensure that the bill would not cause any disruption to the phenomenal growth of the auto industry, for which it is incumbent on the government to help and promote.  A healthy auto industry significantly contributes to the further development of the country's economy.

Perhaps a stricter and more consistent enforcement of laws on illegal parking and road obstruction with much stiffer fines would go a longer way than a bill that would effective restrict property ownership for the populace.

Let's start with the Mabuhay Lanes. The legislators should take a look at its present stage compared to when we had the APEC and they would most probably say, "What Mabuhay Lanes? Where are they?"

Peugeot Test Drive

Peugeot Philippines dapper president, Glen Dasig made sure he joined the test drive of the newly launched Peugeot 308 to scenic Tagaytay City last week.

Aside from giving select members of the motoring media a hands-on and up close and personal ride and drive experience with the Peugeot 308 the test drive event also attempted and quite successful too, to relate the outstanding features of the 308 to the different human senses that we normally take for granted, like touch, smell, sight, etc.

The test drive to Tagaytay dealt more on the different kinds of road surfaces that the motoring journalists meticulously subjected the 308 to rather that the distance. We drove the two 308 variants, namely the wagon and the hatch through the world class SLEX tollways and over the twisty off roads of Canlubang and back roads of Tagaytay.

Among the many remarkable characteristics of the 308, the most I appreciated was its nimbleness and maneuverability - they were indeed outstanding.

The Peugeot 308 is available for close scrutiny and test drive in the different Peugeot Philippines dealerships. Go try it.

BAIC brings in the M20

Bayan Auto Industries Corporation (BAIC) is bringing into the country the M20, which it considers a one of a kind MPV that combines all the features of what can be expected from an off-road family car.

The M20 has a 1.5 CVVT engine seating 8 passengers in 3 rows, which BAIC banners as an ideal choice for buyers who need enough space for the Filipinos' extended family, or endurance athletes wanting a big enough vehicle for their bicycles inside or enough space to be used for ride-sharing business ventures. It has a base price of P548,000.00.

BAIC announced that you could catch the M20 at the History Convention on August 25-28 at the World Trade Center where Jamie Dempsey shall take it for a spin. She will also be featuring the M20 on the Ride N'Seek: The Quest of the Princess Cloak.

What's on Auto Focus this week?

The spotlight shall be trained on the following automobile models this week for a review of the EcoSport Titanium, 2016 BMW M5 Pure Metal Silver and the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe.

There will also be a feature-to-feature comparison of the Honda City against the Volkswagen Polo Notch as they go head-to-head together with the latest news in the local auto industry and the start of a series of technological advancements on the Peugeot Technical Report.

Auto Focus, the country's premier news and features TV magazine airs tomorrow, Thursday at 10 o'clock in the evening on Solar Sports, Channel 70 on Sky Cable and Channel 35 on the Destiny Cable Network.

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)