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Southwest Integrated Provincial Transport System (SWIPTS)

1. What is SWIPTS? And what is a ITS?

SWIPTS means South-West Integrated Provincial Transport System and is one of three (3) temporary terminals under the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC)-led ITS banner project. ITS, on the other hand, means Integrated Transport System -- a centralized, intermodal and integrated bus terminal system which aims to improve the mobility of people and the traffic situation inside Metro Manila road network by consolidating all existing 85 terminals scattered all over the inner core of Metro Manila to (three) central terminals located at the fringes of Metro Manila.

2. What are the objectives of the ITS?

  • To improve travel time of road users and travel experience of bus commuters
  • To promote better bus transport service by clearing EDSA of inconvenience and delays from the embarking and disembarking of passengers by bus drivers
  • To reduce overall network transport costs
  • To increase efficiency of bus operations and fuel mileage
  • To promote road safety and socio-economic productivity

3. Why is there a temporary South-West Transport Terminal?

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, as one of the agencies in charge of the ITS project, was tasked in the implementation of the integrated transport system covering the South-West area routes.

MMDA identified the portion of the Uniwide Coastal Mall property to be the site for the temporary terminal that will cater to provincial buses coming from the South-West routes run by 86 bus operators managing almost 1,000 buses and covering 72 routes.

The completion of this temporary terminal will contribute significantly to easing traffic not only in EDSA but also in 10 areas within Metro Manila to include Lawton, Baclaran, Pasay, Rotonda, Ayala, Cubao, Divisoria, Mandaluyong, Liwasang Bonifacio, Mall of Asia and Vito Cruz, Manila.

The temporary terminal for the South-West routes covers almost 1.4 hectares of Uniwide Mall property along Parañaque coastal road to be leased by the MMDA for a period of 2 1/2 years.

4. What is the legal basis for the creation of the Temporary Integrated Bus Terminal?

A Regional Development Council-National Capital Region (RDC-NCR) Resolution No. 11-5 on 23 June 2011 was approved by all 17 Metro Manila Mayors supporting the establishment of Mega Manila Provincial Integrated Bus Axis System (MM-PIBAS) as an infrastructure transport system project to help address the increasing vehicle congestion and provide a safe and convenient movement of persons and goods in the region.

President Benigno S. Aquino III issued Executive Order No. 67, series of 2012, Providing for the Establishment of the Integrated Transport System (ITS), which envisioned a centralized, intermodal and integrated bus terminal system at the fringes of Metro Manila.

Recognizing the urgency to address the worsening problem of traffic congestion and pending implementation of the ITS, Administrative Order No. 40 dated 16 July 2013 entitled Providing for the Establishment of Interim Transport Terminals in Preparation for the Integrated Transport System Under EO No. 67 was issued to construct "Interim Transport Terminals" at the South, South-West and Northern areas of Metro Manila. MMDA was tasked to implement the south-west provincial transport terminal with the DOTC and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) developing the north and south temporary terminals, respectively.

5. Is the ITS supported by studies?

There are a number of studies conducted relating to ITS:

  • Detailed Feasibility Study on the Integrated Transport System (ITS) Project commissioned by DOTC to Feedback Infrastructure Services Private Limited, May 2013
  • Final Report on the Development of a Mega Manila Public Transport Planning Support System commissioned by DOTC to NCTS-UP, May 2012
  • Mega Manila Provincial Integrated Bus Axis System (MM PIBAS) of MMDA, July 2011
  • Final Report on the Mega Manila Public Transport Study commissioned by DOTC, April 2007
  • Final Report on the EDSA Bus Route Revalidation Survey commissioned by DOTC to Transportas Consulting through JICA, January 2006
  • Issues and Directions on the Integrated Public Transport in Metropolitan Manila, DOTC and UP-NCPAG, published by Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies,
    Volume 6, s. 2007
  • Proposal on the Greater Manila Mass Transport System of MMDA, 2003
  • Metro Manila Urban Transportation Integration Study commissioned by DOTC to JICA, 1997

6. What are the interim terminals that will be constructed in Metro Manila and which agencies are responsible?

As specified in Section 3 of AO 40, there will be three (3) interim terminals in Metro Manila as follows:

  • DOTC is the lead agency for the ITS in the north to serve passengers to and from northern Luzon,
  • DPWH is the lead agency for the ITS in the south to serve passengers to and from Laguna and the east-side of Batangas
  • MMDA is the lead agency for the ITS in the South-West to serve passengers to and from Cavite and the west-side of Batangas.

7. How many buses will be catered by the South-West Interim Terminal?

There are a total of 1000 franchised buses which are targeted to be handled by the south-west interim terminal. However, only 947 are registered in the biometric system in the terminal since launch. The balance might be under repair, not registered in the LTO or non-serviceable/non-operational already.

8. How many are the expected passengers per 1-bus trip for all 800 assumed provincial buses which will use the terminal?

Around 32,000 passengers were expected but actual survey revealed that the average passengers per 1-bus trip for all 800 assumed provincial buses in the terminal are around 34,000.

9. How does the biometric system work?

Each bus driver will undergo finger scanning and those with three (3) or more violations will not be allowed to drive while those buses with traffic records, without legitimate LTO registrations and/or dubious plate numbers will not be dispatched and shall be apprehended accordingly.

10. What are other factors considered in choosing Uniwide property as the terminal site?

Other factors that were considered for the selection of the Uniwide property are as follows:

  • Proximity to the proposed permanent terminal at the PRA property, just within a close distance, which will contribute significantly in facilitation the transition process once the permanent terminal is completed.
  • Promote intermodal and seamless commuter transfer from provincial to city transport service and vice versa because it is within walking distance to the Bus Management Dispatch System (BMDS) of MMDA where city buses are centrally being dispatched. It is also within distance to the future mass transport system of LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension Project.
  • Strategic location and proximity to the property and to the coastal expressway, the CAVITEX, and the proposed NAIA Expressway Project Phase II which will connect to Skyway and NAIA Expressway Phase I;
  • Minimal cost for terminal development considering the readiness of the site to be converted into a terminal as well as the availability of amenities such as roofing, ample parking spaces, strategic entrance and exit points and ready provisions for electricity and water, among others;
  • Purchase of vacant lot in the vicinity of the coastal expressway is actually not an option considering that the terminal to be developed shall be used temporarily;

11. What happened to the existing bus franchises that allowed them to go beyond the Terminal?

Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issued a Memorandum Circular No. 2013-004, titled "Route Amendment of Certificates of Public Convenience of Provincial Public Utility Buses Originating from Provinces South of Metro Manila Entering via Coastal Road and/or Manila Cavite Expressway, and for Other Purposes", which stated that all Provincial Public Utility Buses (PBUBs) shall end their routes at the South-West Interim Terminal at Uniwide Coastal Mall, Para˜aque City. City Public Utility Buses (PUBs) whose routes are near or adjacent to the South West Provincial Terminal are required to pass through the Bus Management Dispatch System (BMDS) of the MMDA near the provincial terminal to facilitate the transfer of the passengers going to the city.

12. What is the legal basis for the MMDA to enter into the lease contract?

The MMDA followed the provisions of RA9184 or otherwise known as Government Procurement Act and the IMPLEMENTING GUIDELINES FOR LEASE OF PRIVATELY-OWNED REAL ESTATE (GPPB Resolution No 019-2007), as prescribed by Sec 53 of RA 9184.

13. Was cost-benefit analysis and done as required by the law?

Yes, cost benefit analysis in addition to comparison of lease rates in surrounding areas have been done prior to the selection of the Uniwide Property.

14. Why lease from Uniwide and not Manila Bay Devt Corp, the owner of the property considering there is an on going litigation between the two?

This is because Uniwide had the possession of the land, by virtue of juridical title, a legal concept. Basically, a juridical title is a legal mode of acquiring possession through contractual agreement, but not in the concept of owner, but has all the rights of the owner in the use of the property, such as lease.

One of the rights of the possessor with juridical title is the right to exclude any person from the enjoyment of the property. In this case, Uniwide had the possession of the property by virtue of juridical title in the form of lease contract. At the time when the MMDA negotiated with Uniwide, the contract was in litigation but not yet final. As such, until such time the contract is declared cancelled, the lease contract is subsisting and possession legally with Uniwide.

Furthermore, as lessor, he has the right of enjoyment of the thing, and in certain respects, in the name of its owner. But the possession of his right of use pertains to him (lessee) in his own name, as acquired by virtue of a just title, that is, the contract of lease.

Finally, Manila Bay Devt Corp, in its letter to the MMDA, fully supports the establishment of the terminal in the Uniwide Coastal Mall property.

15. Will the Southwest Terminal be affected by the claim of taxes by the Parañaque City Government? And why?

No. The issue of unpaid real estate taxes is between the Building owner (Uniwide) and City of Parañaque. The MMDA is just a lessor of the land (not improvement/building). The lease is and should be recognized by the City of Paranaque since it was validly entered into before Paranaque takes over the property. Furthermore, City of Paranaque explicitly supported the Terminal project at its city by voting favourably in the Metro Manila Council.

16. What are the other benefits of the south-west interim terminal?

  • Reduction in Bus Traffic Volume particularly along EDSA and 11 other areas within Metro Manila to include Lawton, Baclaran, Pasay Rotonda, Ayala, Market Market, Cubao, Divisoria, Mandaluyong, Liwasang Bonifacio, Mall of Asia, and Vito Cruz, Manila considering that the franchised 1,000 provincial buses will terminate their destination in the interim terminal.
  • Reduction in Fuel Consumption and Bus Maintenance Cost due to bus route cut which ranges from the shortest distance of 8.6 km from coastal to Lawton and farthest distance of 16.0 kms from coastal to Cubao.
  • Reduction in Air Pollution caused by the displacement of the provincial buses from coastal to various Manila destinations particularly along EDSA-Taft and in critical areas normally used as illegal terminals such as in front of the Post Office is valued at Php123,958,416.88 per year.
  • Reduction in Air Pollutants (in tons/year)
 Carbon Dioxide (CO2)  Methane (CH4)  Nitrous Oxide (N2O)  Carbon Monoxide (CO) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Sulphur Oxides (SOx) Particulate Matter 10 (PM10)
 7,561.99  0.44  0.23  148.82 28.33 266.50 10.97 24.07
  • Improved Health Conditions of Road Users - Around 160,000 deaths in the Philippines were related to air pollution as pollutants in vehicle emissions can generally damage lung tissue and can lead to and aggravate respiratory and cardio-vascular diseases. Thus, reduced air pollutants would impact positively on health and could be be further translated to lower medical related expenses such as hospital cost and cost of medicines, not to mention, reduction in income earned due to loss in man-hours due to absences or even loss of job, in extreme cases.
  • Increased Travel Speed and Reduced Travel Time as traffic is reduced along EDSA and 12 other areas in the metropolis, it is expected that travel speed will be relatively faster while travel time shorter. Cumulative savings on travel time may be translated to passengers' convenience, improved socio-economic productivity and increased income.
  • Improved Safety and Convenience of Passengers due to the presence of necessary facilities and corresponding personnel requirement for efficient terminal service to promote convenience and safety of the passengers.
  • Promotes Discipline and Protection for Bus Drivers and Operators with the installation of the biometric system to ensure that only franchised provincial buses will utilize the terminal. This therefore weeds out colorum and out-of-line buses. The system will also discipline drivers to settle their traffic violation tickets immediately. Operators and drivers alike shall be free from any form of extortions (kotong, barker fee, parking fee, etc.) and payment of terminal and dispatch fees as no fees shall be collected from the use of the interim terminal.

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