MBC STATEMENT ON THE EXPANDED TRUCK BAN IN THE CITY OF MANILA

It is a fact that traffic congestion has been costing the economy billions of pesos in lost revenues arising from decreased productivity. It is also a fact that the city of Manila is host to the country’s major ports, and that the efficient and least costly movement of goods through the city’s streets is essential for a progressive economy. As the city of Manila strives to address its serious traffic problems, it is necessary that an appropriate balance be attained between relieving congestion and facilitating the free flow of goods through the city’s streets. Solving this challenge requires a coordinated effort from both public and private spheres. In this context, we welcome the initiative of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary to convene pertinent national government agencies to facilitate dialogue between the government of Manila and other stakeholders. With this mechanism in place and taking note that further delay in resolving this issue will result in adverse effects to the country’s economic performance, we call on the government to ensure that a fair solution will be reached at the soonest possible time. In the long-term, however, we believe that the provision of adequate infrastructure remains as the primary solution to this problem. As such, we also call on the government to facilitate the immediate construction of much-needed mass transportation and road projects. Government should also provide the necessary infrastructure and incentives to increase cargo traffic in and economic activity around the ports of Subic and Batangas to decongest the port of Manila. MBC maintains its position that promoting national interest must remain paramount in the formulation and implementation of local ordinances. It is our hope that the resolution of this issue will provide the impetus for better coordination between private and public sectors regarding proposed local policies with national implications.

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