We have long had airports for airliners coming from all over the world and seaports for ships bringing in cargo and people from all over our island country, but we never had a landport until last Monday when President Duterte inaugurated the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) on Coastal Road in Parañaque City.
What we have had in Metro Manila and in all other cities in the Philippines are individual bus stations of various companies. Many of them are located along Epifanio de los Santos Ave. – in the Cubao area for buses coming from Northern and Central Luzon and near Roxas Boulevard for those coming from Southern Luzon and Bicol.
These individual bus stations were identified by the Metro Manila Development Authority as being among the major causes of the traffic gridlock in Metro Manila and it proceeded to prescribe rules for them, such as banning buses from backing into the station or out into traffic – it must be nose in-nose out. This helped ease traffic on streets leading to the stations, but not much. There was also the problem posed by long rows of buses, many of them empty of passengers, probably waiting to get into the stations.
With one stroke, the problems posed by all these many individual bus stations for public utility vehicles coming from southwest of Metro Manila will now be solved by the single landport on Coastal Road in Parañaque. Buses, jeepneys, UV Express vehicles from Cavite and Batangas bring in about 200,000 passengers to Metro Manila every day.
These passengers will now have to transfer to city buses, jeepneys, and UV Express vehicles to their final destinations all over Metro Manila. They will have to adjust to the new system, but the immediate effect of the new landport is to remove hundreds of provincial vehicles from city traffic.
The Paranaque landport is only the first step, of course, Similar landports must be built for provincial vehicles coming from the north, from the east, and from the southeast. And these must ultimately be connected to one another via elevated highways, light railways, or subways.
The landport concept, with its ban on provincial vehicles, may finally solve Metro Manila’s seemingly impossible traffic gridlock problem.