Rainy season contributed to traffic density — Panelo
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - August 8, 2019 - 5:55pm

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday agreed with the commuters’ grievance on the traffic situation along EDSA following the strict implementation of the yellow lane or bus lane policy.

However, Panelo said the weather also contributed to the traffic congestion.

Panelo cited that he also experienced being stuck in traffic on Wednesday as it took him two hours to travel from Makati City to a celebration at the Singapore Embassy located in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

“The rainy season has contributed into this density of traffic,” Panelo said.

“The MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) is doing its level best to do something about it,” he added.

The presidential spokesman made the comment when asked for the Palace statement on the controversial yellow lane policy.

On Wednesday, commuters lamented the traffic jam supposedly worsened by the implementation of the policy.

Under the policy implemented on Monday, city buses are only allowed to use the two outermost lanes in EDSA.

City buses were seen hardly moving on the said lanes on Wednesday and some commuters were prompted to walk amid the implementation of the policy.

READ: WATCH: Buses hardly moving amid implementation of ‘yellow lane’ policy

On Wednesday, MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago also denied that the yellow lane policy should be blamed for the gridlock.

"Ang daming factors. Umulan today, ayun hanggang ngayon po umaambon. Alam naman po natin kapag nakakaranas tayo ng ulan, medyo bumabagal ang takbo ng trapiko," Pialago was quoted by CNN Philippines.

(There are many factors. It rained today, until now it's drizzling. We know that when we experience rains, traffic moves slow.)

Panelo to commuters: Be patient

In view of this, Panelo then asked for the commuters' patient and assured them that the traffic authority is doing its job.

“We’ll have to ask the [commuters] to be patient. I’m sure the MMDA is doing enough,” he said.

'We need skyways'

Panelo added that the problem in EDSA is the lack of skyways.

“We need skyways for that. If you have a lot of skyways I don’t think there will be traffic,” the spokesman said.

“We need infrastructures,” he added.

The Duterte administration infrastructure program "Build, Build, Build" covers 9,000 kilometers of road; 2,000 bridges and 4,000 flood control projects and thousands of other projects seen to be completed before the president's term ends in 2022.

In his fourth State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte also expressed the need to address the Metro Manila traffic, citing that the country loses P3.5 billion because of it. 

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