BUHAY Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Monday asked the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to show lawmakers its master plan for development to address the multitude of problems plaguing Metro Manila.
“Do we really have a master plan for development? It appears that we merely resort to palliative measures to address the metro’s long-festering problems such as traffic congestion, flooding, peace and order, and garbage,” Atienza, a member of the House committee on Metro Manila development, said in a statement.
He cited the hundreds of thousands of commuters helplessly trapped in the monstrous traffic jams triggered by recent downpours.
“The primary function of the MMDA is planning. Policy direction and enforcement are functions of local government units (LGUs) —all matters related to traffic, flooding, peace and order—are deliberated and voted upon by the Metro Manila Council composed of the 17 mayors of the metropolis. When we have buses being hijacked along Edsa, is that not a source for great concern? Now, we not only have pirates on the high seas, but they are right here in Metro Manila! Our countryment try to earn a living and meet such mishaps,” Atienza added.
“We urgently need a master plan for development, be it for the next five or 10 years. If we had it in the first place, then we would have been able to solve all these problems. But so far, all we have seen are presscons and press releases. We have not seen any improvements and the problems have not been solved. The MMDA should consult and listen to urban planners, architects and engineers on how best to solve these problems and submit it to the Metro Manila Council for approval,” he said.
“Beijing, Singapore and Hongkong all had master plans for development, and look at where they are now. We on the other hand are still using an antiquated mass transport system which bogs down often and causes kilometers long queues . If we had a master plan like them, we would probably have subways by now. All metropolitan areas worldwide have utilized the subway as the most efficient mass transport system,” Atienza said.
He said the perennial traffic problem was aggravated by the uncompleted and unattended diggings, the uncollected garbage clogging the drainage systems, construction sites for both commercial and residential projects obstructing roads and occupying half of the street, and double parking. Summer came and went without these diggings being completed and they are now contributing a great deal to the traffic problem.
“The MMDA should come up with a master plan for development as soon as possible and present it to the House committee on Metro Manila development. Should we let this go on? How long will they keep us in suspense?” Atienza asked.