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MMDA ban may affect mobility

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PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSEL PALMA

THE METROPOLITAN Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) decision to ban light vehicles from traversing national roads come April 15 will worsen mobility for ordinary Filipinos in the capital region, a transportation advocate said on Wednesday.

“The Government has failed to answer basic transport needs of Filipinos: from much-needed reform for road-based transportation (ie. jeepneys, PUVMP) to the lack of proper infrastructure to promote and support active transportation (ie. walking, biking, etc.),” AltMobility PH Director Ira Cruz told BusinessWorldin a Viber message.

“So, the popularity of light electric vehicles and personal mobility devices is one of the ways Filipinos are responding to their mobility needs despite the shortcomings of [the] Government,” he added.

He adds the popularity of e-trikes is a symptom of the government’s failure to provide the basic mobility needs to Filipinos.

“As ordinary Filipinos look for solutions, it is unacceptable for the Government to focus its energy on restrictions rather than solutions,” he said.

Vehicles included in the ban are tricycles, push carts, pedicabs, kuligligs, e-bikes, e-trikes, and light electric vehicles. They are also forbidden from traversing circumferential and radial roads in Metro Manila.

Acting MMDA Chairman Romando S. Artes said the “proliferation of e-vehicles” pushed the agency to regulate and penalize those using major roads since they pose hazards to motorists.

The MMDA recorded 2,829 accidents in 2022 that involved bikes, e-bikes, and pedicabs. — Chloe Mari A. Hufana