The Philippine Star

Se­na­tors push ‘doable’ traf­fic de­con­ges­tion schemes

- By PAOLO ROMERO

Se­na­tors are urg­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to fo­cus their at­ten­tion on speed­ing up im­ple­men­ta­tion of projects that would ease the wors­en­ing traf­fic con­ges­tion in­stead of de­bat­ing with the pub­lic on whether or not there is a trans­porta­tion cri­sis.

“Trans­port cri­sis or not, the fact that thou­sands of com­muters are hav­ing an ex­tremely dif­fi­cult time get­ting to their des­ti­na­tions should al­ready prompt im­me­di­ate ac­tion from the en­tire gov­ern­ment,” Sen. Sonny Angara said over the week­end.

“While some peo­ple are pre­oc­cu­pied with ar­gu­ing on se­man­tics, the stu­dents and em­ploy­ees are deal­ing with their daily strug­gle with how to get to work and school,” he added.

He pushed for the re­vival of the Pasig River ferry pro­ject which, based on the lat­est fea­si­bil­ity study, can be fully op­er­a­tional in a year, as the pub­lic awaits big-ticket in­fra­struc­ture projects such as the Sky­way ex­ten­sion, MRT and LRT line ex­pan­sions, and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the Philip­pine Na­tional Rail­ways to fin­ish.

Sen. Fran­cis To­lentino, a former mayor and ex-chair of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Manila Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity, also pushed for the Pasig River ferry pro­ject as well as the in­stal­la­tion of more ter­mi­nals to serve more peo­ple.

Sen. Bong Go said one way to de­con­gest Metro Manila is to cre­ate new cities or ex­pand ex­ist­ing ones out­side the cap­i­tal.

He cited New Clark City and ur­ban ar­eas in Batan­gas and Davao where in­dus­tries can in­vest, Filipinos can thrive, and more im­por­tantly, where space for ex­pan­sions is avail­able.

Go said the gov­ern­ment does not rest on these op­tions but con­tin­ues to pur­sue trans­porta­tion projects in the “Build, Build, Build” pro­gram.

He also cited the new in­ter­na­tional air­port to be built in Bu­la­can that will also lessen con­ges­tion.

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