Philippines to ink deal with S'pore on solving traffic woes

MANILA • Philippine transport officials are turning to Singapore for help in addressing the country's perennial traffic problem which is costing the economy at least 2.4 billion pesos (S$63.5 million) daily.

Transport Undersecretary for road transport Tim Orbos said on Monday that, within the year, the Department of Transportation would enter into an agreement with the Singapore Government to help the country deal with its traffic woes.

"They will help us properly manage (our transport systems) in Metro Manila and in the entire Philippines," Mr Orbos said.

Among the key programmes the department is eyeing is the use of the automated fare collection system. Mr Orbos also noted that only a few corporations in Singapore run the country's transport systems.

Earlier in March, Mr Orbos highlighted how Singapore's Electronic Road Pricing scheme helped it reduce traffic by 45 per cent in the Central Business District almost instantaneously. It also sped up traffic speed, with vehicles travelling up to 34 kmh on average, compared with 18 kmh before the scheme.

Among the key programmes the department is eyeing is the use of the automated fare collection system. Mr Orbos also noted that only a few corporations in Singapore run the country's transport systems.

The governments are also studying the feasibility of implementing a congestion pricing scheme in the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue. The circumferential highway around Manila is the busiest in the Philippines, with about 300,000 vehicles using the 24km road daily. Under the scheme, a higher charge will be levied during peak hours, and public utility vehicles will be exempted from the charge to encourage motorists to leave their cars at home and take public transport instead.

In an interview with CNN Philippines in March, Mr Orbos praised the Singapore model for its "holistic approach". "It starts with a behavioural concern of people," he had said.P

HILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2017, with the headline 'Philippines to ink deal with S'pore on solving traffic woes'. Print Edition | Subscribe