Truck ban on Metro Manila major roads back on Monday

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 10)— Cargo trucks will be prohibited from EDSA starting this coming week, with window hours set on other major thoroughfares, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has announced.

MMDA Traffic Chief Bong Nebrija said a total truck ban on six-wheelers and up will be enforced starting December 14 from EDSA Magallanes in Pasay to North Avenue in Quezon City, while a ban from 6am-10am and 5pm-10pm will be carried out in other major thoroughfares in the region from Mondays to Saturdays.

He told CNN Philippines that the "clamor" to reinstate the truck ban came from the Metro Manila mayors due to an increase in traffic volume. MMDA said the Metro Manila Council has yet to decide if the ban will stay even after the holiday season.

However, a truckers' group argued that the ban's reimposition may only contribute to further traffic congestion, with more trucks attempting to reach their delivery targets in a shorter period.

"Malaki po ang kawalan ng ating ekonomiya dahil babagal ang turnaround ng mga truck na magre-resulta ng iba't-ibang problema tulad ng congestion," Ruperto Bayocot, chairman of the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines, said in a separate interview with CNN Philippines on Sunday.

"After the truck ban hours, para kaming alon na kanya-kanyang takbo. Sasakupin na lahat ng lane makahabol lang sa delivery," he added.

[Translation: There's going to be a big loss for our economy because the turnaround for trucks would result in different problems like increased congestion. After the truck ban hours, we would be like a wave. We'll try to get all the lanes just so we can reach our delivery target.]

Bayocot proposed the implementation of a 24/7 single lane for trucks, particularly for roads leading to the shipping ports, in order to remedy the traffic situation.

Meanwhile, the number coding scheme for private vehicles will remain suspended.

"We do not want to be overwhelmed by request for exemption from the different frontliners, particularly the health workers whose primary mode of transportation really are private vehicles. So, the suspension on the number coding will stay put until such time that the Metro Manila Council announces otherwise," Nebrija said in an interview.