ILOILO City – To ease the traffic bottleneck in Barangay Ungka II, Pavia, Iloilo due to the ongoing construction of a flyover, jeepney groups called for the rerouting of private vehicles elsewhere.
The 18-month work on the P480-million flyover on the intersection of Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue and President Corazon Aquino Avenue started on Monday.
Barring private vehicles from the area would ease the congestion there, said Edgar Salarda, president of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide.
He urged the Iloilo City government’s Public Safety and Transportation Management Office and the local government unit of Pavia to try his suggestion.
There are several alternative routes for private vehicles going to Iloilo City from the Iloilo Airport and those from the city going to the airport, said Salarda.
The key to this, he said, is to inform the private vehicles in advance. He suggested putting up in areas before Barangay Ungka II big signboards identifying the alternative routes.
“Drivers of private vehicles from Barangay Buhang, Jaro district should be able to see the tarpaulin advising them not to proceed to Barangay Ungka II and instead take alternative routes. In Barangay Aganan, Pavia there should also be a tarpaulin or informative signboard telling drivers from the Iloilo Airport going to Iloilo City not to proceed to Barangay Ungka II and instead take Bangga Cinco in Barangay Jibao-an,” said Salarda.
His other suggestion is for the imposition of the odd-even plate number scheme on private vehicles passing Barangay Ungka II.
The traffic congestion is adversely affecting the daily income of jeepney drivers, said Salarda, specifically those plying the Ungka-Iloilo City route.
“Vehicles move at a snail’s pace especially during rush hours,” said Salarda.
Rizal Alido, board secretary of the Iloilo City Alliance of Operators and Drivers Transport Cooperative, agreed with Salarda’s suggestion on the rerouting of private vehicles.
But he offered another suggestion: for the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and Land Transportation Office to be strict in enforcing the franchises of jeepneys plying the Ungka-Iloilo City route.
Jeepney members of the Iloilo Terminal and General Services, Inc. (ITGSI) should not be allowed to proceed to the transport terminal in Pavia, he said, because their franchises limit their route only up to the ITGSI terminal just across Christ the King Memorial Park.
What’s currently happening, according to Alido, is that ITGSI jeepneys (Jaro CPU) are being allowed to proceed to the Pavia transport terminal way beyond their official route.
According to Assistant Regional Director Al Fruto of the Department of Public Works and Highways, their office has been coordinating with the Iloilo City government’s Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) head Jeck Conlu (also the chief of the Metro Iloilo Guimaras Economic and Development Council) and the local government of Pavia for a traffic rerouting plan.
They came up with several measures. These were the following:
* limit if not prohibit the number of private vehicles and trucks passing Barangay Ungka II, Pavia
* one lane on both sides of the Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue would be for public utility vehicles
* private vehicles from Iloilo City’s Molo, Mandurriao and Arevalo districts going to the Iloilo Airport may take the road traversing Barangay San Jose, San Miguel, Iloilo connecting to the Santa Barbara Road (Bangga Dama)
* private vehicles from Iloilo City Proper, Jaro and La Paz district going to the Iloilo Airport may take the road traversing Barangay Tacas, Jaro stretching up to Pavia and Santa Barbara
Conlu said the PSTMO is also exploring the possibility of asking the help of residential subdivisions in barangays Ungka II and Aganan, Pavia; they could open their roads to private vehicles.
For Iloilo City-bound vehicles from the Iloilo Airport and other Iloilo central towns, they have two options to avoid the traffic gridlock in Barangay Ungka II. These were the following:
* when going to Jaro – take the Iloilo-Santa Barbara Road (particular Rizal Street – Taft Street – Barangay Agutayan – Barangay Cabugao Norte – Barangay Tigum – Barangay Pagsanga-an to Barangay Tacas, Jaro)
* when going to Mandurriao or Molo – take the Oton-San Jose, Santa Barbara Road (Bangga Dama, Santa Barbara – Bangga San Jose, San Miguel – left turn to Iloilo City ALEOSAN Road towards Hibao-an, Mandurriao)/PN