Erap yearns for modern, Yokohama-like Manila
Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada yesterday openly admitted the traffic woes in the city and applauded the successful urbanization program of Yokohama City during his meeting with Mayor Fumiko Hayashi yesterday.
“How I wish we can install a similar public transport system in Manila – with trains and buses that complement each other. As it is now in Manila, the buses, trains, jeepneys and tricycles compete with each other, or completely disregard each other,” he said.
“Manila really needs expert advice on traffic management,” added Estrada.
Estrada, who visited Yokohama twice during his term as city mayor, said he marveled at how Yokohama has transformed into a beautiful and clean port city.
He praised the disciplined and courteous manner of Yokohama officials.
“With stronger ties between Yokohama and Manila, I hope that Manila will be able to regain its former stature as the ‘Pearl of the Orient,’” the Manila mayor stated.
Yokohama and Manila have been sister cities since 1965. Yesterday, the mayors of the two cities signed a document affirming the 50th anniversary of the sister-city relationship.
Like Manila, according to Estrada, Yokohama is a port city where traffic is a daily challenge because many people need to move cargo from place to place.
“We’re too far. They are too modern. We are asking for help, asking advice regarding what they did in Yokohama. They are really advanced. We cannot deny that,” he said.
“That’s why we are asking for help for us to be able to do what they did to their city here. Traffic is not Manila’s problem only, but the problem of the whole Metro Manila as well,” he added.
Hayashi said Yokohama is very much willing to help Manila when it comes to fixing the traffic problems and improving the transport system.
“In the experience of Japan is we enforced that the public transportation system should be developed. Maybe that experience can be shared with the Philippines to help solve the problem,” Hayashi said.