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Metro

Lawmaker asks MMDA: Show dev’t master plan

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) should show lawmakers if there is really a master plan for development to address the multitude of problems plaguing country’s capital, Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said yesterday.

“Do we really have a master plan for development? It appears that we merely resort to palliative measures to address the metro’s long-festering problems such as traffic congestion, flooding, peace and order, and garbage,” Atienza, a member of the House committee on Metro Manila development, said in a statement.

He cited the hundreds of thousands of commuters helplessly trapped in the monstrous traffic jams triggered by the late afternoon downpour on Thursday.

He said the primary function of the MMDA is planning while policy direction and enforcement are functions of local government units. All matters related to traffic, flooding, peace and order – are deliberated and voted upon by the Metro Manila Council, composed of the 17 mayors of the metropolis.

“When we have buses being hijacked along EDSA, is that not a source for great concern? Now, we not only have pirates on the high seas, but they are right here in Metro Manila,” Atienza said.

“We urgently need a master plan  for development, be it for the next five or 10 years. If we had it in the first place, then we would have been able to solve all these problems. But so far, all we have seen are press cons and press releases. We have not seen any improvements and the problems have not been solved,” he added.

Atienza said the MMDA should consult and listen to urban planners, architects and engineers on how best to solve these problems and submit it to the council for approval.

“Beijing, Singapore and Hong Kong all had master plans for development, and look at where they are now. We on the other hand are still using an antiquated mass transport system that bogs down often and causes kilometer-long queues. If we had a master plan like them, we would probably have subways by now. All metropolitan areas worldwide have utilized the subway as the most efficient mass transport system,” he said.

Atienza said the perennial traffic problem is aggravated by uncompleted and unattended diggings, uncollected garbage clogging drainage systems, construction sites for both commercial and residential projects obstructing roads and occupying half of the street, and double parking.

Summer came and went without these diggings being completed and they are now contributing a great deal to the traffic problem, he said.

“The MMDA should come up with a master plan for development as soon as possible and present it to the House committee on Metro Manila development,” Atienza said.

ATIENZA

BEIJING

BUHAY

DEVELOPMENT

LITO ATIENZA

METRO MANILA

METRO MANILA COUNCIL

METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE AND HONG KONG

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