Vehicle Sales and the Current Agricultural and Environmental Crisis


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According to Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers in the Philippines, Inc., as of 2017 the car industry in general sold or released 425,673 vehicles for commercial purpose and for passenger cars. Last year, 2018, it dropped to 16% with a total of 357, 410 sold. So what does it mean? Even though the percentage dropped, still, the number of vehicles that have been added is overwhelmingly so much. Of course, what it does is worsen the traffic situation of the country.

From: Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers in the Philippines, Inc. Graphics by: Bong R. Fortin

Not only that, vehicles would also consume more spaces when instead, our country needs more available land both for residential and farming purposes. Our country is currently importing agricultural products that is why our government needs to have a concrete and long-term solution for this problem. Imagine how many more vehicles will be added at the end of this year (2019). How can you solve this problem related to land when you put thousands more vehicles out to the public?

In Metro Manila alone, some families or individuals own multiple vehicles on their households. If they have enough parking spaces on their property, it doesn’t seem to add to the problem of traffic. But what if these families use three or five cars a day, how does it contribute to the crisis in traffic? Also, from the production to the maintenance of these vehicles, how does it affect our environment? These are some of the long term effects that everyone must consider before they buy a vehicle. In addition, according to MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) traffic in Manila will worsen this year up to 2020 due to major road constructions.

During last September 2015, Valenzuela First District Representative Sherwin Gatchalian proposed a bill that would regulate car buyers. The said bill was House Bill 5098 (now called Senate Bill 201) or known as “Proof-of-Parking Space Act”. As of October last year, the Senate said they are still “working on it”. The concern for this bill is that, this would regulate buyers that are only in Metro Manila and not really in the entire archipelago. What would happen to the provinces? According to the bill, buyers should have a parking space as pre-requisite in buying new cars and registering with the Land Transportation Office. This, the proponent pointed out, would lessen traffic congestion in the metropolis.

Image from: https://www.carmudi.com.ph/journal/mmda-widens-scope-no-window-hour-policy/

Will Filipino society today give up their desire to purchase a vehicle for the sake of a better environment and transportation system in the future? But what will happen to those families who own more than one vehicle?  What kinds of public transportation should remain then? How will the Filipinos adjust to the situation? What will happen to the economy? What will be the long-term impact of our economy on the environment? And most especially, what will the automobile industry do for their sales? Will they allow it to happen? These are some of the important questions some concerned Filipinos consider on their minds.

 


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Alter Picar

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Alter Picar is a writer, translator, self-published author, songwriter / musician, community worker, non-profit organization manager (volunteer), mental health advocate / educator, librarian, and organic gardener.

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