Metro Manila LGUs adjust working hours to ease traffic congestion

MANILA. In this file photo, people walk as traffic builds up as the government places the capital on the lowest rung of a five-step pandemic alert system on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Quezon City, Philippines.
MANILA. In this file photo, people walk as traffic builds up as the government places the capital on the lowest rung of a five-step pandemic alert system on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Quezon City, Philippines.AP File

THE Metro Manila Council (MMC) has implemented an adjusted working schedule for its employees in a bid to help address traffic congestion in the National Capital Region (NCR).

In a television interview, MMC president San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said instead of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., all city and municipal government offices in Metro Manila will operate from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on May 2, 2024.

Amid the transition to the adjusted working period, he said a skeletal force in vital services will have to work from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. to cater to clients who are not aware yet of the new working hours.

“Ang layunin natin umiwas ‘yung mahigit 100,000 kawani ng mga pamahalaang lungsod dito sa Metro Manila sa rush hour,” said Zamora, noting that NCR LGUs have around 112,000 employees.

(Our goal is for the more than 100,000 City Government employees here in Metro Manila to avoid the rush hour.)

The MMC earlier approved a resolution on the adjustment of working hours, noting that “persistent traffic congestion in Metro Manila demands innovative solutions for the improvement of commuting conditions and the well-being of the citizens of the NCR.”

“The findings derived from the MMDA study underscore the potential effectiveness of implementing a standardized working schedule for government offices in Metro Manila, particularly during peak hours, in reducing traffic congestion,” it added.

Earlier, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said his administration is fast-tracking the mass transit system in the country to address traffic woes.

As a long-term solution to the traffic problem in the metropolis, Marcos also recently mulled to strengthen the development of the provinces nearby such as Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite and Laguna.

Marcos said providing equal opportunities outside Metro Manila is one of the best solutions to address traffic congestion.

In a recent study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), it was found out that traffic congestion in Metro Manila alone is estimated to cost the Philippine economy at least P3.5 billion per day, or P1.27 trillion annually.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chair Eduardo Yap said with the magnitude of losses incurred from traffic, Metro Manila should be placed under a “state of calamity.”

Yap said the economic damage due to traffic has already exceeded the threshold for declaring a state of calamity, which typically stands at P1 billion. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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