MMDA: GIVE QC CLEARWAY A CHANCE

METRO MANILA, August 23, 2003 (STAR) By Nikko Dizon  - A ranking Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) official defended the traffic scheme being implemented by the agency, saying the complaints raised by motorists and commuters alike stem from the Filipinos’ seeming aversion to change.

"For some people, it seems like MMDA implements the traffic schemes simply to annoy them. Any change means uncertainty and I hope people will allow us to give the traffic schemes a chance," MMDA Traffic Operations Center (TOC) Executive Director Angelito Vergel de Dios told The STAR yesterday.

He added that "one isolated incident that causes heavy traffic on the road does not make the system bad."

Vergel de Dios said that if a new scheme fails, the MMDA would be open to re-implementing the old one.

He agreed with observations that it takes time for Filipinos to adapt to the MMDA’s new traffic schemes because it is only now that changes are being introduced and the agency has been gung-ho in implementing them.

The MMDA has been swamped both with praises and complaints for the scheme it has implemented as answers to the traffic problem in Metro Manila.

Among the schemes the MMDA has introduced were the clearways on Quezon Avenue, Commonwealth and Marcos Highway, which prohibit crossing and turning left on intersections; the yellow lane on EDSA; the organized bus route also on EDSA; and the sidewalk clearing operations.

The MMDA insisted that it would take a week or two before motorists and pedestrians get used to the new schemes.

Recently, many have complained that the Quezon Avenue clearway caused more traffic congestion. The Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP) also said the scheme brought many inconveniences to drivers and passengers.

The MMDA was forced to suspend the organized bus route, or single dispatching system, last Monday because most people simply got confused by the rules.

The MMDA re-implemented the scheme the following day. Bus operators later claimed that their earnings slightly increased with the new scheme.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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