Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has a slew of plans to ease vehicular traffic, starting with improving the rail systems, setting up a cable car system, deploying double-deck buses, enhancing the point-to-point or P2P bus service and constructing pontoon bridges over the Pasig River.
During his first 100 days in office, the secretary will also see to it that traffic laws are strictly implemented. He will also ban the parking of vehicles on side streets and enforce the policies against “colorum” vehicles and smoke belching cars.
“The topic now is the importance of transport in economic development — and that is no brainer. Because if [there’s] no transport, patay ang negosyo [businesses will die],” Tugade said at a forum at the World Trade Center.
“Because of the traffic situation, nababoy na ang buhay ng mga Pilipino [the lives of Filipinos have gone to waste]. They waste time waiting for their ride home, rather than spending time at home,” he added.
Tugade cited a report that in 2014, the country lost P2.4 daily billion because of the horrid traffic jams in cities.
He encouraged the business community to help the government address the traffic problem.
“I want you to help us convince the authorities that more than ever, this country now needs what we call special laws and emergency power to address the traffic situation crisis,” Tugade said.
The Transportation chief said no cars should be parked at the sides of the streets.
He warned that vehicles illegally parked will be towed and brought to Tarlac.
“People who violate the laws are not entitled to convenience,” Tugade said.
He said he will also synchronize traffic lights, improve street signages and markings, and consult with various stakeholders such as mayors and traffic management heads in Metro Manila as well as public transport operators.
Tugade also wants to maximize and develop the roll on, roll off (RORO) system in the first two years of the Duterte administration to reduce trucking costs and cut delivery time. To achieve this, he plans to put up more RORO terminals, limit the age of RORO vessels to 35 years, implement compulsary insurance of passengers and phase out wooden hull boats.