MANILA, Philippines – If he gets elected to the highest post of the land in 2016, Vice President Jejomar Binay said frustrated Metro Manila commuters can expect a hands-on president trying to solve the worsening traffic problem in the bustling metropolis.
“In situations and issues requiring immediate action, like the traffic crisis in Metro Manila, I will personally exercise the authority of the president as chief executive and head of the bureaucracy,” Binay said during the general assembly of the Alliance of Concerned Transport Operators (ACTO) on Sunday, September 6.
Under his presidency, Binay said, he will direct local government units and other government agencies involved in traffic management “until the situation stabilizes.”
He added: “Under my presidency, I will personally monitor and supervise the coordination between these agencies, set targets and deadlines, and ensure they meet their targets and deadlines.”
He also noted that the current agency tasked to manage traffic, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), is merely a coordinating agency and has no authority to issue instructions to local government units or other national government agencies.
“However, the President can exercise such an authority in addressing the traffic issue which has reached crisis proportions. I will do so until the situation stabilizes,” Binay said.
Binay, who previously chaired the MMDA, has consistently blamed the Aquino administration for the traffic problems in Metro Manila.
He has also hit the government for being insensitive to the plight of commuters enduring long traffic jams and the frequent breakdown of mass transportation systems like the glitch-ridden Metro Rail Transit (MRT3).
Binay told members of ACTO that a modern, upgraded mass transport system is key to decongesting Metro Manila.
“Tungo sa pangmatagalang solusyon sa problema sa trapik at transportasyon, kailangan na pong mapatupad ng isang makabagong mass transport system para mabawasan ang bilang ng mga sasakyan sa lansangan at mas mapabilis ang biyahe. Hindi na po kakailanganing magdala ng pribadong sasakyan, tulad sa Singapore, dahil mahusay naman ang mga tren at bus,” he said.
(For a long-term solution to the problem of traffic and transportation, we need to have an upgraded mass transport system to lessen the number of cars on the road and speed up travel time. There will be no need to use private vehicles, as in Singapore, because the trains and buses are efficient.)
He also called on the transport sector to do their share by obeying traffic rules.
In March, when he announced his plans for his first ‘100 days in office‘ if elected in 2016, Binay included the rehabilitation of the MRT3 and easing metro traffic. – Rappler.com