In a recent interview with GMA Integrated News’ ’24 Oras,’ President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. emphasized the need for an efficient public transport system to address the notorious traffic problem in Metro Manila, Philippines. Acknowledging his own experiences of being caught in the gridlock, President Marcos shared that he often resorts to using the presidential chopper instead of his motorcycle-riding escorts to avoid further inconveniencing motorists and commuters.
President Marcos expressed his concern about causing traffic and the embarrassment it brings. He stated, “Another thing I try to avoid is to cause traffic… Because when I go (on the road), it’s embarrassing because everybody has to stop. So, I try as little as possible to cause traffic.”
During his travels on the presidential chopper, President Marcos gains a bird’s eye view of the state of Metro Manila’s roads and recognizes the urgent need for decisive action to address the worsening traffic situation. To alleviate congestion on major thoroughfares and secondary streets, he proposes the establishment of more ferry stations along the Pasig River.
Recently, President Marcos led the inauguration of the Pasig River Urban Development Project, also known as the ‘Pasig Bigyang Buhay Muli’ (PBBM) initiative. The primary objective of this project is the rehabilitation and revival of the renowned waterway. However, this endeavor may displace thousands of residents, particularly informal settlers living along the riverbank.
Addressing concerns about the affected residents, President Marcos assured that the government has plans in place for their relocation. He stated, “There is a plan already, we have identified what we call transition areas where we will build temporary lodging for the settlers so that they have a place to stay while we are building their permanent housing.”
To effectively tackle the Metro Manila traffic problem, President Marcos recognizes the importance of a comprehensive approach. While the establishment of more ferry stations along the Pasig River can help alleviate congestion, it is equally crucial to ensure the smooth relocation and provision of permanent housing for the affected residents.
The President’s commitment to finding solutions to the traffic issue demonstrates his dedication to improving the lives of the people in Metro Manila. By prioritizing the development of an efficient public transport system and addressing the concerns of those affected by the urban development projects, President Marcos aims to create a more sustainable and livable city for all.
It is essential for the government to work in collaboration with various stakeholders, including urban planners, transport experts, and local communities, to design and implement effective solutions. By doing so, Metro Manila can overcome its traffic challenges and pave the way for a more prosperous and accessible future.
As the government continues its efforts to map out an efficient public transport system, it is crucial to consider international best practices and learn from successful examples in other countries. By contextualizing potential solutions within the local laws, customs, and infrastructure, the government can ensure that the proposed measures are practical and suitable for the unique needs of Metro Manila.
In conclusion, President Marcos Jr.’s call for an efficient public transport system and the establishment of more ferry stations along the Pasig River highlights the government’s commitment to addressing the Metro Manila traffic problem. By prioritizing the needs of commuters and motorists, as well as considering the concerns of affected residents, the government aims to create a more sustainable and livable city for all. Through collaborative efforts and learning from international best practices, Metro Manila can pave the way for a future with improved traffic conditions and enhanced quality of life.
Source: The Manila Times