By Raymund Antonio
An improved and efficient mass transport is just one of the solutions offered by three senatorial candidates from the opposition to address Metro Manila’s horrendous traffic and concerns over the safety of passengers boarding motorcycles.
Former solicitor general Florin Hilbay, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, and Magdalo representative Gary Alejano shared the same views on how traffic woes should be resolved in the capital region.
“Napaka-obvious ng solusyon. Ayusin agad-agad ang mga mass public transport system. Unahin ang karaniwang mamamayan, hindi ang mga nagpapayaman sa pamahalaan,” they said in a statement.
(The solution is very obvious. Immediately fix the mass public transport system. Prioritize the ordinary citizens, not those who enrich themselves in government.)
Because of the traffic problem, the three Senate bets find this reason why the Filipino commuters patronize motorcycle ride-hailing services like Angkas.
“Kumbaga, kumakapit na sa patalim ang mga tao makarating lang sa oras sa trabaho o makauwi nang mas maaga, aalisan niyo pa ng paraan para magawa ito,” they said.
(In other words, people choose the last resort to arrive on time at work or come home early, but only to be taken away from them.)
Law enforcers are apprehending Angkas bikers and even impounding their motorcycles after the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on a Mandaluyong court decision that allowed Angkas to operate again.
However, the motorcycle-hailing firm remained adamant that it will continue operating on the streets despite the apprehension of their bikers.
Hilbay, Macalintal, and Alejano noted the issues involving Angkas were about “road safety, traffic and livelihood.”
“Hindi talaga ligtas ang mga kalye natin sa Metro Manila. At ang datos tungkol dito ay malinaw. (Our roads in Metro Manila are really not safe. And the data about it are clear),” they said.
Just last year, the opposition senatorial candidates cited data that showed 434 Filipinos died and 19,374 were wounded due to 110,025 road crashes in Metro Manila.
Most number of road crashes involved motorcycles, killing 247 people and injuring 12,182.
“On the other hand, traffic is terrible. Last year, according to a survey, people wasted 66 minutes of their time everyday due to traffic in Metro Manila,” they said in Filipino.