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Cebu Traffic Crisis
« on: October 16, 2019, 01:38:56 PM »
CEBU CITY – With the declaration that Cebu is in a traffic crisis, the Cebu Provincial Board wants President Rodrigo Duterte to exercise “extra-ordinary power” in solving road congestion in Metro Cebu.

Glenn Anthony Soco, chair of the committee on commerce and industry in the board who sponsored the resolution declaring traffic crisis in Cebu, on Tuesday said that proposed projects meant to solve traffic congestion have long been in the pipeline but need presidential intervention in order to materialize.

“We want to bring the President closer to Cebu. We need him to fast-track proposed solutions to traffic. We have so many solutions that are in the pipeline that could only move through Duterte’s iron-fist,” Soco said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Soco delivered a privilege speech on Monday, pitching the idea of tapping Duterte’s emergency powers to beat the traffic congestion which, he claimed, has cost millions worth of man-hours.

He quoted a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) study which states that traffic has caused the Cebuanos an estimated PHP1.1 billion of losses in productivity in 2018, which is more than double than the PHP500 million in 2017.

“We could already project that if we do not do anything it will only get worst. Perhaps, for us, the traffic problem is still acceptable right now. But what about in 2030 and even in 2050 if we will do nothing?” he stressed.

According to him, Cebu has many projects viewed to boost decongestion efforts on metropolitan roads that could not get maximum implementation because of lack of presidential intervention.

“Take for example the PHP50-billion 74-kilometer Metro Cebu Expressway from Naga to Danao that could not get fully implemented because of budgetary constraints. Imagine that, for the PHP50-billion budget, we only get PHP600 million that will only answer the segment from Naga to Talisay,” Soco said.

He said that the Guadalupe-to-Lahug Bypass Road here was proposed 20 years ago in order to ease congestion along Escario Street and other peripheral roads in the city’s uptown area. He claimed, however, that the project has never been funded by the national government until today.

The Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB), he said, has pushed for the creation of the Metro Cebu Development Authority (MCDA) which is akin to Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), that will direct traffic and development in the metropolitan Cebu.

The bill that seeks for the creation of MCDA has slept in Congress, he said.

Soco said the Cebuanos are also clamoring for an efficient mass transport system like the Light Rail Transit as a component of the Integrated Intermodal Mass Transport System (IITS) of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

“Our people commute using PUV. But for the long-term solution, what is really needed is the mass transport system like LRT that can ferry more passengers at any given time or the carrying capacity is even higher than the demand,” he said.

He mentioned that road opening and road widening projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) meant to add more capacity on existing thoroughfares are lagging in implementation because of right of way (ROW) issues which, he said, can only be addressed through Duterte’s intervention.

Soco said after his speech during their regular session on Monday, that he urged local government unit heads in Cebu to revisit existing traffic code and traffic laws and implement revisions. He also asked Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to hold a traffic summit. (PNA)

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