A major port-clearing effort will begin on Monday, September 8 as the MMDA starts the "24-hour Last Mile Route" project allowing trucks to hit the road and travel the 'last mile' for the final delivery of their precious cargo.

This two-week government project to decongest the port area will supersede the truck ban in place in Manila and other cities.  The MMDA has been marking trucks with 'LASMAYL' (Last Mile) since yesterday and this badge will let trucks travel even during truck ban hours in various cities in Metro Manila.

The MMDA expects some 3,000 trucks to travel in the next two weeks and worsen the traffic situation all around the metropolis.

This decision has come after a Cabinet cluster meeting with importers, exporters and truckers to find immediate measures to decongest the port area, transport long overdue deliveries and create space in anticipation of deliveries coming in during the holidays.

Selected trucks marked with ‘Lasmayl’ will not be stopped nor apprehended by traffic enforcers of the MMDA regarding the truck ban.

Exempted from the ‘LASMAYL’ project are EDSA, España Boulevard (from Quezon Boulevard to Rotonda), Ortigas Avenue (from Santolan to Sta. Lucia), Katipunan Avenue (from Santolan to Commonwealth), Recto Avenue (from A. Santos to Legarda), Taft Avenue, Ayala in Makati City Bonifacio Global City and other roads in heavily congested business districts in Metro Manila.  These roads will still implement the existing MMDA truck ban.

Trucks without the ‘Lasmayl’ badge caught travelling during ‘ban hours’ will be fined P5,000.

Last Friday, September 5, the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) turned in to a 9-kilometer parking lot as early as 5am and continued throughout the day as trucks using A. Bonifacio going to the Philippine Ports Authority caused a major traffic jam partly due to limited open gates at the port area.

It was initially blamed on the ‘one-truck lane policy’ instituted by the MMDA on C5 but was later cleared up and retracted by NLEX management.

But the ‘one-truck lane policy’ on C5 is not without criticism.  With trucks piled up in the middle lane, motorists find it difficult to overtake slower vehicles thereby slowing overall traffic on C5 as well.

With the ‘one-truck lane policy’ in effect on C5, the 24/7 “express trade lanes” on Roxas Boulevard, C3, R10, A. Bonifacio, 5th Avenue and Balintawak and the ‘Lasmayl’ project that kicks today until September 22, motorists should brace themselves for heavier traffic condition for the next two weeks.