BACOLOD, Philippines – The head of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed on Sunday, December 11, amendments to what could have been a draconian 6 am to 9 pm truck ban on city roads starting on December 12.
Mayor Albee Benitez announced a new truck ban schedule after a meeting with stakeholders, including businesses who warned that the original schedule would wreak havoc on their logistics flow.
The new truck ban hours will be from 4 am to 8 am and from 4 pm to 9 pm.
Benitez said the movement of trucks would still be regulated during other hours, with a five-minute interval between every vehicle that enters the circumferential road.
Trucks carrying perishable goods are exempted from the ban.
MBCCI head Frank Carbon said after the meeting that the amendments would prevent too much disruption in the flow of trade and production, while helping the city ease congestion on key intersections used by residents heading to and from school and work.
Benitez’s change of heart came after Carbon raised the request of truckers and their customers for a window that would allow them to cross city streets that cut through the circumferential road, the main highway used by trucks.
The highway passes through many residential subdivisions on the eastern parts of Bacolod and at least two main streets leading to the city center. The amount of trucks, especially during the September to March sugar milling season, has caused gridlock during rush hours.
Benitez called the plan “experimental” and said he would monitor the flow of traffic and adjust the truck ban schedule as needed.
But the city government also earned praise from the business sector and residents for its strict implementation of the no-parking rule on Lacson St., the city center’s main street.
The city information office also released a new One-Way Traffic Scheme in Lacson, Aguinaldo and Gatuslao streets, the busiest in the city, which will also be implemented on December 12.
Carbon said the improvement in the traffic situation would encourage residents of other towns and cities in Negros Occidental to visit the province’s independently administered capital during the Christmas season. – Rappler.com