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Author Topic: EDSA Traffic Problem  (Read 81 times)

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EDSA Traffic Problem
« on: June 12, 2021, 09:26:02 pm »
Press Release
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CRITICS OF THE GOVERNMENT’S HANDLING OF THE EDSA TRAFFIC PROBLEM

In the last 24 hours, photos are circulating in social media of what appears to be commuters, on a rainy Friday evening rush hour, in long queue, looking desperate and enraged to get a ride home.

Now what could be the possible motive in spreading the said photos?

It is no longer surprising if the intent is to incite our people to get angry at government, and to denigrate and diminish the transformational initiatives and whole-of-government approach that were being administered and enforced to address this long-standing concern of EDSA Traffic.

In the nearly five years of the Duterte Administration, we have seen how a strong political will and the resolute determination of our government to respond to the issue and directly confront the problem has made it possible for our people to have a better commuting and motoring experience as compared to before.

And while we have introduced many game changing initiatives to vastly improve mobility in EDSA, we will be the first to acknowledge that what we have done so far are not yet what we have envisioned.

But, at the very least, we at government are working very hard to directly confront this issue, front and center.

For the record, we have neither claimed that THERE IS NO MORE TRAFFIC AT EDSA, NOR THERE IS NO MORE PILA IN MRT-3 OR BUS STATIONS, as what the critics, doomsayers and negatrons have been trying to portray.

Also, it should be worth mentioning that a set of photos taken at a single period does not tell the entire story, and can be spun to provide a different context.

So how do we dispel these constant barrage of negative news and narrative?

By simply stating FACTS, and by what PIA DG Mon Cualoping constantly says—- Explain Explain Explain.

A. From President Duterte to Transportation Secretary Art Tugade, the position taken by government is very clear— There is IMPROVEMENT in INFRASTRUCTURE and the TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, which has translated to better vehicular flow, faster commuter travel time and more comfortable commuting experience at EDSA.

Notwithstanding the pandemic, the improvements include:

-The EDSA Busway System
-The Skyway Stage 3 of DPWH, DOTr and TRB
-The massive rehabilitation of MRT-3
-The promotion of Active Transport (which, according to civil society groups, was kept in the drawing board for the last 30 years)
-The long term and big-ticket projects in the DOTr Railways Sector that are now being executed
-More efficient traffic enforcement and management being undertaken by the MMDA, with the help of I-ACT and PNP-HPG

One by one, these initiatives and programs have all had a positive impact in our effort to address the debilitating and long-neglected issues of EDSA.

In adopting the EDSA Busway System, we have seen how this program has put order to a once chaotic system that made EDSA a hellish nightmare on a daily basis. As asserted by Transport Secretary Art Tugade, traffic along EDSA is now more organized, with suitable loading and unloading of passengers, and COMMUTING is now faster, safer and more convenient.

The Skyway Stage 3 project has lived up to its billing as a game changer, and indeed it has really given our motorists an alternative for faster and free flowing travel, which in turn has helped decongest EDSA and other chokepoints.

For the MRT-3, before the Duterte administration assumed office, this mass transport system has become a national symbol of what was absolutely wrong with our transport policy and system. The deterioration and neglect of this rail line, and how it was ineptly managed, has so enraged our people that it was a national interest issue in the 2016 elections. Now, under the leadership of Sec. Tugade, a massive rehabilitation took place whereby political will and not excuses, made it possible for the MRT-3 to stage a comeback and become the reliable mass transport system that it is supposed to be. Mind you, the rehab is still on-going, and there are more improvements which can be expected, including the soon to be interlinking or interconnection of MRT-3 with LRT-1 and 2, and the soon to open MRT-7 and Metro Manila Subway.

In so far as Active Transport is concerned, this is perhaps the only administration which has seriously pursued this program, as we now can see real Bike Lanes in major road networks across the country.  The entire stretch of EDSA is now biker-friendly, and this has breathed life into an Active Transport program that is long overdue.

As a member of the Department of Transportation, I can proudly attest to how massive our plans and programs are in the Railways Sector that would significantly alter our country and enable us to leapfrog into socio-economic prominence not just here, but in the ASEAN region. 

MRT-7 from North Avenue to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan via Commonwealth; LRT-1 Cavite Extension; LRT-2 East Extension (opening this June 22nd); Metro Manila Subway; Common Station; the humongous Mindanao Railway; and the mammoth North-South Commuter Railway are the transformational Railway Infrastructure projects that would surely improve our transportation landscape.  They all fit the adjective GAME CHANGERS.

And EDSA? Well, we are about to embark on a program that would transform this thoroughfare as a modern and environmentally-sound elevated walkway, that will bring back dignity in commuting. Watch out for this.

Now these are all FACTS.

Before, they were only pipe dreams— planned and talked about at length.

It is so easy to criticize and disparage the government’s efforts of reform and transformation, especially from those who were given the opportunity to do so, but failed miserably. 

And maybe there are also groups or entities out there who are sabotaging our gains with these endless and constant black propaganda because we may have hurt their profiteering from incompetence, or their inefficient traditional way of serving the public.

It is unfortunate that they have to resort to these dirty tactics to emotionally blackmail our people to withdraw their support to an administration who truly cares.

But, if there is one thing that I have fully imbibed as a public servant is this-- we are undeterred, and we will be more determined than ever to deliver our mandate to the Filipino people.

In this day of Independence, let me be a messenger of hope and assurance that we are nearing our emancipation from indifference and apathy from government.

Unlike before, there is real and palpable tapang at malasakit para sa bayan at para sa tao.

#DOTrPH #BuildBuildBuild #EDSABusway #ExplainExplainExplain


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