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Foreign business groups urge lawmakers to fix traffic problem before 2020

Foreign business groups urge lawmakers to fix traffic problem before 2020 image

Eric Tipan / AutoIndustriya.com | December 11, 2017 14:57

Joint Foreign Chamber predicts traffic to reach standstill by 2020; calls for legislative remedy

In 2014, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) reported that the daily traffic is costing businesses Php 2.4 billion a day and if the problem isn’t addressed, that number could rise to Php 6 billion a day.

Three years later, the congestion continues to get worse and has gotten the attention of the Joint Foreign Chamber (JFC), a coalition composed of American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines, and Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc.

In a statement, the JFC urged lawmakers to speed up the passing of legislation that will immediately make a positive impact on the vehicular congestion all over Metro Manila.

"We urge Congress to complete its legislative procedures and approve the legislation on second and third reading at the earliest possible date, and recommend the President certify the measure as urgent to also speed up its passage," said JFC in a statement.

Both Houses of Congress have filed separate bills versus the Philippine traffic problem, the House of Representatives Bill 4334 or the Traffic Crisis Act of 2016 and the Senate’s Bill 1284 or the Traffic and Congestion Act of 2016. However, these have both been delayed due to "failure to present specific and detailed plans to address the problem."

"With the completion of the budget and the first tax reform package, the time to pass this important legislation is now. We are continually reminded of the very difficult traffic situation by the worsening congestion we experience daily during this Christmas month of December," the JFC added.

Using data from Uber, JFC also noted that Manila traffic is currently the worst in Asia and that as per a report by a Boston Consulting Group, traffic in the metropolis could reach standstill levels, less than 10 kilometers per hour, during rush hours.