Joint foreign chambers urge Congress to pass traffic bill

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THE JOINT Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC) in a statement on Wednesday, Dec. 6, called for Congress “to complete its legislative procedures” on a measure aimed at easing traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

House Bill (HB) 6425 or the proposed Traffic and Congestion Crisis Act is currently pending in the House of Representatives, which is set to adjourn for the holidays. The bill, a priority measure, aims to provide comprehensive solutions on easing traffic in Metro Manila, Metropolitan Cebu, and Metropolitan Davao.

“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 (P)resident (Rodrigo R. Duterte) certify the measure as urgent to also speed up its passage,” JFC said in its statement.

“With the completion of the budget and the first tax reform package, the time to pass this important legislation is now,” the group also said, as it noted that the concerned committees in both chambers of Congress have “completed their reports some months ago, and their bills are in line to be discussed and approved in plenary.”

“We are continually reminded of the very difficult traffic situation by the worsening congestion we experience daily during this Christmas month of December,” said JFC, which also cited “an assessment” by ride-app enterprise Uber “that Bangkok, Jakarta, and Manila have the worst traffic in Asia.”

JFC also cited a study by the Boston Consulting Group warning that “at current vehicle growth levels, Tier III cities (Manila) are at risk of reaching standstill levels of congestion (<10km/hour) during peak hours by 2022.” JFC is composed of American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese, Korean chambers and PAMURI (Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc). — MNRDLC