The steep footbridge along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City earned criticisms from netizens.
Facebook/Danna Galendez
Steep Commonwealth footbridge a safe option, MMDA says
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - November 12, 2018 - 4:20pm

MANILA, Philippines—The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has assured the public that the steep footbridge along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City is a safe option for pedestrians.

MMDA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago defended the elevated footbridge questioned by online users and said that it was structured that way to pave way for the Metro Rail Transit.

“Hindi lang din ho namin maintindihan on our end, kung gaano po ho ba yung taas na dapat? Hindi naman ho pupuwedeng mas mababa pa dito dahil dadaanan po ito ng MRT," Pialago said in an interview with GMA’s Unang Balita.

"Ang design ho na ito ay dumaan naman sa pag-aaral so sa tanong po ninyo kung safe, maniwala po kayo, safe po itong footbridge na ito," she added.

Pialago cited that the Commonwealth footbridge is the second footbridge criticized by the public. Weeks ago, photos of an elevated footbridge in Scout Borromeo along  EDSA-Kamuning, Quezon City also became viral and was slammed by online users for its “high” structure.

The MMDA official, however, clarified that the Commonwealth footbridge is not a project of the MMDA.

“Maaaring pareho ng structure, pareho ng design, pero hindi po ito proyeko ng MMDA. Ito po ay proyeko ng contractor ng MRT-7, sila ho ang nag-modify ng nasabing footbridge," she said.

For its part, MRT-7’s contractor, EEI Corp. also defended the structure saying it needs to be elevated to allow the passage of trains. The contractor said they needed vertical clearance for the train.

"Ang design ho na ito ay dumaan naman sa pag-aaral so sa tanong po ninyo kung safe, maniwala po kayo, ma'm, safe po itong footbride na ito," she added.

Despite drawing flak from the public, Pialago said the Commonwealth footbridge is just an option. She said the footbridge was constructed for those who wish to cross the road.

"Kung natataasan ho sila, meron namang hong footbridge sa may unahan ho, sa may Iglesia, puwede rin po sa may Tandang Sora. You can use other footbridges na you will find comfortable for you," Pialago said.

Pialago furthered that the Kamuning and Commonwealth footbridges are not the only steep ones. She cited that there are also high footbridges along Shaw Boulevard and Orense, Makati City.

'No budget for underground pass'

Asked for a resolution for the high footbridges constructed and being constructed, Pialago said they wanted to make it safe and convenient. However, they lack the budget.

“Unfortunately, walang sapat na budget para gawing underground na may elevator, may escalator,” Pialago said.

“Kung palarin ang ahensya na magkaron ng sapat na budget. Why not?... We cannot compromise safety because we don’t like the structure. We cannot compromise safety just because it's tiring for you. At least we are giving you an option,” she said.

Last week, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia also defended the EDSA-Kamuning bridge saying it is not for everyone.

RELATED: MMDA: Elevated EDSA-Kamuning footbridge not meant for everyone

CELINE PIALAGO COMMONWEALTH FOOTBRIDGE MMDA QUEZON CITY
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