Palace switches gears on odd-even traffic scheme

Malacañang clarified on Friday that the “radical” traffic solution floated by President Aquino earlier suggesting possible imposition of weeklong odd-even vehicle volume reduction scheme is just “one of many options” the government is mulling to address daily gridlocks in Metro Manila’s main thoroughfares.

“It is important to point out it’s only one of many options being considered,” Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma Jr. said, explaining there was no target date yet for enforcing an extended odd-even scheme disclosed by the President during a speech in Mandaluyong the other day.

Coloma asserted that Mr. Aquino was only listing several options under consideration in the face of mounting complaints from motorists and commuters who have to bear with the daily traffic gridlocks that take hours to untangle.

He pointed out that the possible revival and imposition of an extended odd-even scheme was not yet final.

“It’s not a ‘plan.’ He [President Aquino] said it’s a ‘radical solution’ that is among the options being considered,” Coloma said, adding that “consultations are ongoing with stakeholders.”

According to President Aquino himself, “malapit nang ipresenta sa akin ang iba’t ibang plano para maibsan ang siksikan ng mga sasakyan.”

Aquino added: “Ang akin po: Ang pinakaradikal dito ay hatiin ang bilang ng  bumibiyaheng sasakyan—salitan ang pagbabaybay ng odd at even na plaka sa ating mga kalsada kada linggo. Pihadong luluwang ang trapik dahil kalahati ng sasakyan ang mawawala, pero sigurado pong marami na namang aalma dahil hindi magagamit ang kotse nila.”

The President proceeded to cite official statistics on what he called  “the good news and bad news,” noting that over 22,400 new vehicles are sold every month, in addition to about 100,000 motorcycles sold monthly since 2014.

“Ang suma nga pong ‘yan: 1.2 million na bagong motorsiklo noong nakaraang taon. Ang resulta po: Siyempre, lalong siksikan sa kalsada. At natural, dahil sa trapiko, ang sasakyan at motorsiklo na pinag-ipunan mo nang husto, mas mabilis malalaspag dahil nakababad lang sa karbon,” Aquino said.



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