BUHAY party-list Rep. Lito Atienza criticized the tendency of Congress to create “superbodies” to solve problems instead of addressing their root causes.
“There is a growing tendency of Congress to create superbodies such as the proposed traffic super body to address the traffic problems in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao, without genuinely confronting the root causes of the problem—gross incompetence and massive corruption. Adding another layer of bureaucracy will only engender the same level of incompetence and corruption. But the problems will remain unsolved,” Atienza said.
He cited the case of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), whose coaches have been breaking down almost everyday, while management insists on procuring trains that are incompatible with the existing rail system.
“Why do they keep on buying coaches that will not run on the existing rail system, at the same time getting a maintenance provider like Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI)? What experience does BURI have running our mass transport system that MRT management saw it fit to hire them? The incompetent and corrupt officials who are the cause of all these should be hauled off to jail!” the Senior Deputy Minority Leader said.
Atienza pointed out that the main causes of traffic in Metro Manila have not been addressed, causing gridlocks.
“The colorum buses plying our major thoroughfares are still there together with the illegal terminals such as that on Buendia and Edsa. Secondary roads that can serve as alternate routes are still littered with illegally parked vehicles, basketball courts, and even houses in the middle of the streets. Now LGUs (local government units) are even allowed to put up gates within their communities that could very well serve as alternate routes,” he lamented
Atienza said the Philippines should look at the system adopted by officials in Bangkok.
“To address the traffic mess, the officials in Bangkok first cleared all side streets of obstructions. Secondly, they studied the flow of vehicular traffic on their main roads and secondary streets. Based on this, they devised a system to enable the continuous flow of traffic at all times of the day. After this, there was an immediate 50% improvement with their traffic problem. They built a subway system which is now the final stage of their traffic solution,” he said.
“We urge our colleagues not to look at adding another layer of bureaucracy as the solution to the problems we are facing. The real solution lies in the enforcement of existing laws. Let us not burden the people with more promises and grandiose plans which will amount to nothing unless incompetence and corruption are properly addressed,” Atienza added.