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More bypass roads, bridges across the Pasig


We have not heard much about what the government plans to do about the  traffic problem along  Epifanio de los Santos Ave.  (EDSA) and elsewhere  in  Metro Manila.  We thus welcomed one positive report – the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)  announced  that it is allocating P100 billion  of its P450-billion budget for 2017 to projects to decongest Metro Manila traffic.


Secretary  Mark  Villar said the plans include the  construction  of 128 bypass roads.  New  bridges will be built   across  the Pasig River.  Several ongoing projects will be stepped up, including  the expressway connecting  the  North Luzon Expressway  (NLEX)  and  the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

This is not the first time we have heard  about  most of these projects but it seems they have not been pursued as  seriously as they should have been, possibly  for lack of sufficient  funds. The previous administration  was noted for  underspending,  even  cancelling already contracted projects.

We hope the new  Duterte  administration  will  be more  decisive in its public works program. The many ongoing  projects  must be pursued  more  vigorously. Hundreds of huge concrete pillars, for example, have been standing for months along the route  of  the NLEX-SLEX connecting skyway, with no ongoing construction work  in evidence.

It has been said that  there are three important “E’s” in traffic management – engineering, enforcement,  and  education. The DPWH will be attending to the engineering part of the equation. We hope to hear more about  enforcement, including  plans  for certain problem intersections,  illegal parking on streets, and  the continued operation of  colorum buses.  The education part of the three “E’s” may take longer but we have to make a beginning.

For now, our  greatest expectations are focused on the new infrastructures that the DPWH has promised to build with its 2017 budget.  Even without  the emergency powers sought by the Department  of  Transportation  from  Congress,  these DPWH projects can be  launched immediately and pursued  more relentlessly than in the past.

The Duterte administration  won largely  because of its promise of change that the people grasped  at. We have already seen the change in many areas of government, notably in  police  enforcement of the anti-drugs campaign.  We look forward to change in other areas, including  the long-awaited  improvement in Metro Manila’s hopeless  traffic.

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  • Pastor du Ijang

    It will be years of pain first before we see real infra completion. Before that will be pain and more pain. The medium term thing we need now is mass transportation – buses instead of chaotic jeepneys.