Lawmakers go against cry of commuters

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AMID criticisms and opposition from commuters and passenger bus operators, more lawmakers from the province of Cavite have expressed their support to the Southwest Interim Provincial Terminal (Swipt).

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In expressing their full support, five lawmakers representing the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh districts of Cavite said the Swipt is reflective of the needs of Metro Manila in solving traffic congestion.

“We fully support the continued implementation and operation of the first established Interim Transport Terminal, the Southwest Terminal,” the Cavite congressmen said in a resolution.

The signatories in the resolution are Rep. Francis Gerald Abaya (First District), Rep. Alex Advincula (Third District); Rep. Elpidio Barzaga (Fourth District); Rep. Roy Loyola (5th District); and Rep. Abraham Tolentino (Seventh District).

They also assured Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) that they will help enlighten the public of the benefits of the program and its importance in spurring economic growth.

“The main goal of integrated transport system such as the Southwest Terminal is to solve the perennial traffic problem in Metro Manila to spur economic growth, to which the Cavite congressmen is in full support of,” the lawmakers said.

The Cavite congressmen also expressed optimism that the Southwest Terminal would achieve its goal of decongesting traffic in the metropolis and to interconnect mass transportation systems, such as buses and railways, to feed into each other and afford an “efficient, reliable, seamless, and integrated network/system.”

Metro Manila congressmen earlier assured their support to the MMDA’s integrated terminal project as it would help address the proliferation of colorum and out-of-line public utility buses (PUBs) along major thoroughfares.

Among the Metro Manila congressmen who expressed their support were Rep. Winston Castelo, (Second District, Quezon City), chairman of the committee on Metro Manila Development; Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan (Fourth District, Manila); Rep. Imelda Calixto-Rubiano (Pasay); Rep. Edgar Erice (Second District, Caloocan City; Rep. Enrico Echiverri, (First District, Caloocan City).

As well as Rep. Romero Quimbo (Second District, Marikina City); Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian (First District, Valenzuela City; Rep. Eric Olivarez, (First District, Parañaque City); Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte, (Sixth District, Quezon City); and Rep. Gustavo Tambunting, (Second District, Parañaque City).

The Cavite Mayors League also threw their support to Swipt, which it said will put order to the operation of the legitimate PUBs plying the Cavite-Manila route.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said Swipt is fast gaining support from various sectors because the public has started to understand the concept of the integrated terminal scheme and its impact in reducing traffic congestion.

“Once the North and South terminals are established, we expect a major improvement in traffic flow on or before 2016. By that time, the commuters and motorists would realize the benefits of this traffic program,” Tolentino said.

Swipt is the first of the three integrated transport terminals to be put up around Metro Manila as provided under Executive Order 67 issued by President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

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