Metro Cebu eyes MMDA-like agency to deal with traffic
CEBU CITY, Philippines – A mega traffic body is being proposed in Congress to address the rising congestion in Cebu’s bustling urban centers, especially Cebu and Mandaue cities.
Cebu 6th District Representative Luigi Quisumbing seeks the creation of a Metro Cebu traffic management authority that will be a venue for member local government units to coordinate on planning and management of programs related to traffic. The body will have “supervisory and regulatory authority over traffic operations in Metro Cebu.”
Most Cebu and Mandaue residents have been complaining of traffic woes, often citing how, 5 years ago, it took only at most 30 minutes to travel to various points in both cities.
In House Bill 5556, Metro Cebu Traffic Management Authority (MCTMA) shall cover the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay, Danao, Naga, and Carcar, and the municipalities of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela, Cordova, Minglanilla, and San Fernando.
The proposed traffic body will work similarly as the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). Its chairman will also be appointed by the president of the Philippines. Unlike MMDA, however, it will have co-chairpersons: the governor of Cebu and the mayor of Cebu City.
A similar House bill was proposed years ago by Cebu City 1st District Representative Raul Del Mar. The Cebu provincial board has passed a resolution asking Del Mar to refile his bill that would seek the creation of a traffic body in Metro Cebu.
“In recent news, it was reported that the traffic situation in Metro Cebu, particularly in Cebu City and Mandaue City, has worsened, especially with ongoing roadworks that are being undertaken to improve the flow of traffic and in consideration of upcoming events such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) conference, which is expected to bring in more people and a gamut of activities," Quisumbing explained in his bill filed on Tuesday, March 10.
Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama is often seen on the streets of Cebu City these past weeks to personally supervise new traffic schemes and experiments being implemented to ease traffic in several choke points.
Quisumbing also said that in 2010 Cebu province had a total population of 4.16 million, which is growing at a rate of 2.19% annually. This year, the province is projected to have a population of 4.64 million, and 5.18 million in 2020.
“Considering the increase in population and businesses in Metro Cebu, there is an urgent need to address the [traffic] problem,” the legislator said.
Quisumbing believes the autonomy of the local government units that will become members of the proposed MCTMA will not be taken diminished since the will only be concerned with traffic system.
In the proposed body, the regional heads of national government agencies will also sit as non-voting members of the MCTMA. These include the Department of Transportation and Communications, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Tourism, Department of Budget and Management, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, and the Philippine National Police.
As provided in the bill, the MCTA will initially be funded by savings under the Office of the President. In the following year, Congress shall include the MCTA in the national budget. – Rappler.com