Government authorities are still trying to find solutions to traffic congestion problems ahead of the coming holiday season. Traffic is usually worst during the weeks leading to Christmas when people are doing their holiday shopping, and celebrate their office parties.

In an advisory in its social media account, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced that the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (i-ACT) and the Metro Manila Council (MMC) have agreed to implement the “No Window Hours" for private vehicles under the number coding scheme at EDSA and C5. The policy is geared towards addressing the traffic congestion during the holiday season.

Aside from the two mega highways, the “No Window Hours” will also be observed in Roxas Boulevard, Alabang-Zapote Road, and the cities of Mandaluyong, Makati, and Las Piñas. A dry run of the scheme will be conducted from Oct. 12-14, 2016, while full implementation will start on Monday.

Under the number coding scheme, private vehicles will not be allowed to ply on Metro Manila roads from 7 AM to 7 PM, depending on their plate number. Before the “No Window Hours" policy there used to be a window from 9AM to 3PM, where the private vehicles can still ply Metro Manila roads.

For those motorists who will be affected by the “No Window Hours" policy, an option would be the double-decker buses launched by the government on Wednesday.

According to a report from GMA News, the double-decker buses were launched under the DOTr’s point-to-point (P2P) program, and will ply the TriNoMa-Makati (Glorietta 5) route. The buses will provide 24 hours services from Monday to Sunday.

A single journey fare is P55, while a round trip ticket is P80. A one month unlimited promo fare of P1,300 is also being offered.

The buses being offered for service included two VIP, seven semi-VIP, and five PWD-friendly buses. VIP units have an upper floor that is equipped with 52 reclining sleeper seats with foot rests and reading lights. Each seat has a monitor loaded with entertainments apps.

On the other hand, “the lower floor features a VIP cabin with a comfort room, cooler, VIP sofas, conference table, and two 50-inch flat screen TV monitors that also function as KTV (karaoke TV). For security purposes, the buses are all equipped with CCTV cameras.

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A glimpse at the interior of a double-decker bus that will be used in the P2P program of the DOTr FACEBOOK/Department of Transportation - Philippines

Meanwhile, solons are proposing a moratorium on new malls and condos in Metro Manila and urban centers to ease traffic congestion. Ako Bicol Party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe was reported by Manila Bulletin as saying the population factor is also one of the causes of traffic problems.

Together with Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo, Batocarbe is urging the House Committee on Transportation, who is now hearing the emergency powers proposal of the Duterte administration, empower the traffic czar to have a say in land use and development. This will include the construction of new condominiums and shopping malls.

Catanduanes Representative Cesar Sarmiento, who chairs the committee, is supportive of the proposal. He said he is hoping the moratorium on new constructions will be approved, explaining that the unabated construction of new condos and malls have contributed to the traffic.

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