Tolentino bares subway project to ease Metro traffic, donates Php21-M traffic lights to Legazpi

April 22, 2015 9:14 am 

By Rhaydz B. Barcia

LEGAZPI CITY, April 22 (PNA) — The worsening traffic congestion in the Metro Manila would ease in 2019 with the construction of a 300- kilometer subway transport system patterned in Tokyo, Japan, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis N. Tolentino said here.

The subway system is the alternative transport scheme to be put up in Metro Manila from Dasmarinas, Cavite, to Bulacan in partnership with Japan Economic Cooperation Agency (JICA) to address the worsening traffic condition in the country’s center of economic activities, Tolentino said.

"It will be put up after the Aquino administration under the public-private partnership (PPP), will cover 300 kilometers and is expected to be completed in 2019,” he said.

Currently, Tolentino said, the feasibility study is being done by the Department of Transportation and Communications and is set to be out in June.

The MMDA head flew in to this city to grace the turnover ceremony of the first of three traffic lights donated by him to Legazpi City, where traffic congestion is gradually affecting commuters due to economic boom, influx of tourists, increasing population due to the presence of a university belt and its being center of trade and commerce in the Bicol Region.

The traffic congestion in this city usually builds up from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and at 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the main thoroughfares, specifically during school days.

Mayor Noel E. Rosal said the three traffic lights, including a traffic plan and hand-held radios, were donated by Tolentino and saved Php21 million for the city government.

“We’re grateful to MMDA Chairman Tolentino for his donation as it would help us address traffic congestion, specifically during rush hours," Rosal said.

Tolentino said traffic congestion in the country’s capital will be addressed as soon as the Japan-patterned subway transport system is put up.

The worsening traffic in Metro Manila, he said, is affecting not only Filipinos working and staying in the country’s capital but also travelers bound for Bicol, Visayas and Mindanao and vice-versa.

Traffic is one of the major economic, environmental and health concerns of Metro Manila citizens as the daily travel in the metropolis for an ordinary commuter requires at least two to four hours a day.

In 2012, a JICA study said traffic congestion in the country’s capital estimated costs around Php2.4 billion in losses and this amount increases as traffic gets worse every year.

The JICA identified the vital causes of the traffic problem like an outdated road network and an inefficient public transportation system.

Aside from economic losses, traffic has worsened the air quality in Metro Manila, causing illnesses among citizens living in the metropolis.

The JICA proposed a road map to upgrade the clogged road network system in the metropolis and called for an investment of Php2.6 trillion and a budget of Php4.8 trillion from 2014 to 2030 to ease traffic congestion in the Philippines. (PNA)

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