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Metro Manila LGUs to operate from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. amid traffic

By NICK GARCIA Published Apr 11, 2024 10:15 am Updated Apr 12, 2024 4:27 pm

Starting April 15, Metro Manila’s local government offices will operate from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.—instead of the traditional 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.—in a bid to fight traffic problems.

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) acting chairman Don Artes made the announcement during a town hall meeting with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. about traffic on April 10.

“The 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,” read the Metro Manila Council (MMC) resolution dated Feb. 28.

The MMC also urged national government agencies to do the same.

The modified work schedule for LGU offices in Metro Manila will be effective beginning May 2, MMDA announced.

During the town hall meeting, Artes said there was a 17.68% increase in traffic volume from 2019 to 2023.

Last year, he noted that about 3.6 million vehicles passed through major thoroughfares, from about three million in 2019.

Marcos, meanwhile, during the town hall said the solution to addressing the Metro Manila traffic is adopting a mass transport system.

The president cited New York and London as cities with a mass transport system, particularly trains or subways.

Data provider TomTom’s 2023 Traffic Index showed that Metro Manila had the worst traffic congestion in a metro area among 387 cities worldwide.

According to the study, motorists in the capital spent an average travel time of 25 minutes and 30 seconds per 10 kilometers last year. This is 50 seconds longer than it took to cover the same distance in 2022.

Throughout the year, they spent 240 hours on the road, 117 hours of which were spent crawling through rush-hour traffic at an average speed of 19 kilometers per hour. This translates to four days and 21 hours in traffic, an amount of time that TomTom said can be used to read 48 books.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to include the effectivity date of the modified work hours of Metro Manila LGU offices.