THE Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) through its Traffic, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, headed by Chairman Eduardo Yap said traffic is not just a problem of residents in Metro Manila, but in cities in the provinces as well.
“We are seeing traffic congestion in just about everywhere even in Cebu, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Baguio, Davao, and Zamboanga. Let’s nip this in the bud as early as now.” Yap said.
The MAP welcomes the action of President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd assigning Cabinet Rene Almendras as his point man in handling the traffic problem, directing the Highway Patrol Groups (HPG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to take charge of traffic enforcement with focus on declogging six major chokepoints along EDSA.
Chairman Eduardo H. Yap believes these measures are important steps that are part of a holistic plan to be immediately and aggressively implemented with firm and enduring resolve.
Accordingly, the MAP shall continue to constructively engage the government in alleviating the crippling traffic congestion in Metro Manila affecting the quality of life of residents by contributing to a loss of about P2.4 billion per day in the Philippine economy.
Although Almendras has been assigned to take charge, an important component of such a plan is the appointment of a single point of authority, such as a Traffic Czar, duly empowered by the President.
“We need a Traffic Czar not just to serve as a coordinator of different agencies working together to ease traffic flow, but one who is empowered to exercise executive powers to mobilize resources of the different national government agencies in order to expeditiously and effectively implement measures to provide the earliest relief from traffic congestion gripping the capital city,” Yap said.
In addition, the MAP recommends that concrete lane delineators be quickly installed at all bus stops along the entire stretch of EDSA to ensure efficient traffic flow without the need for any human intervention and to spare HPG troopers from supervising other critical hotspots, such as the problematic EDSA-Taft Avenue and Gil Puyat Ave-Taft junctions.
The coverage of the presidential directive must be expanded to include C5, which is the second most important circumferential road that provides an alternate route to motorists traversing EDSA.
Equally important are radial roads that intersect EDSA. They are important branches of EDSA that allow circulation and distribution of traffic. These radial roads must be included in the directive. They include Gil Puyat, Shaw Blvd., Ortigas Avenue, E. Rodriguez, among others.
“Solving this humongous traffic problem necessitates collective action. There should be symmetry of actions. [The] government must know what its left hand is doing,” Yap said.
He added, “Without a comprehensive traffic management plan, traffic woes would still haunt us even after two or three years from now and we cannot be made to suffer for that long. Let’s unite, and solve this traffic congestion problem ASAP.”
Yap believes that these measures to manage and solve the traffic management problems of Metro Manila must also reach other metropolitan cities throughout the archipelago where signs of traffic congestion are begging for solutions as well.
“Title is everything to many. A mere coordinator is an invitation to be ignored,” he added.