Senator Sonny Angara prodded the government “to look beyond” the National Capital Region in looking for solutions to the transportation crisis.
Traffic malady now nationwide — Angara
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Traffic congestion is not a malady confined to Metro Manila but has spread all over the country, Sen. Sonny Angara said yesterday.

Angara prodded the government “to look beyond” the National Capital Region in looking for solutions to the transportation crisis. 

He noted the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has presented its latest figures on the worsening traffic in Metro Manila, which showed that it now costs P3.5 billion in lost opportunities per day –higher than the estimated P2.4 billion in 2012.

“Before, when you say ‘EDSA,’ it meant where we fought for the return of democracy. But now, this is the place where vehicles can no longer fit.

“Filipinos should never forget that we deserve better public transportation, a better traffic situation. It is affecting our wellbeing, it robs us of our time for our family,” Angara said.

He said as long as there is no effective mass transportation system, vehicles will continue to jam the streets.

Angara stressed the effective solutions should be long-term, and noted that the government is taking steps such as the proposed subway for Metro Manila.

“If public transport is not drastically improved, these missed economic opportunities will also replicate themselves in the big cities in the Visayas and Mindanao like Metro Cebu and Cagayan de Oro where I just came from, traffic is really bad there,” Angara said.

Angara has filed resolutions to look into the severe traffic congestion of Metro Cebu, and the state of public transportation in the country so as to ensure an efficient, dependable, safe, affordable and viable mass transport system.

Angara also authored Senate Bill 1568 or the Sustainable Transportation Act seeking to create transportation demand management programs that will reduce the volume of cars on the roads as well as encourage students and workers to use public transport.

The program will include carpooling, telecommuting, transport program for government employees, bus rapid transit system, water ferry system, among others.

Angara noted that while there’s a steady increase in the number of motor vehicles in the country, the capacity of roads remains the same, or worse, is deteriorating.

Sens. Grace Poe and Joseph Victor Ejercito renewed their call for President Duterte to support the bill granting him emergency powers to deal with the transportation crisis.

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