Who wants to take on metro traffic? Alberto Lina says he's up to it

TRAFFIC CZAR? Customs chief Alberto Lina says he's willing to tackle Metro Manila's traffic problem. Photo from bertlina.com

TRAFFIC CZAR? Customs chief Alberto Lina says he's willing to tackle Metro Manila's traffic problem. Photo from bertlina.

com

Traffic in Metro Manila is a headache for everyone: the everyday commuter who wastes two to three hours on the road, business owners who incur heavy productivity losses, and government officials who become the frequent target of attacks for failing to solve the capital region's congestion woes.

But there's one government official who says he's willing to take on the challenge and become Metro Manila's traffic czar.

“I will, because in my heart I want to help this country,” said Customs chief Alberto Lina, in a light moment with several reporters.

Lina, who is due to step down as commissioner soon, said he is interested to try to untangle the metro's traffic mess using his background and experience in business, logistics, and government.

If given the job, Lina said his priorities include improving the public transport system, lifting the number coding system, clearing illegally parked vehicles and sidewalk vendors, and rationalizing the bus system.

Asked if he can address the traffic problem, Lina gave a confident "Yes" – but he was quick to add that he would not apply for the position unless incoming President Rodrigo Duterte offers him the job.

He also said that the new president should be given emergency powers to solve the traffic problem, which cost the Philippines P2.4 billion a year in productivity losses, according to a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Lina also said that the transportation department and the newly-created Department of Information and Communication Technology should work together to address metro traffic.

The outgoing customs commissioner is set to be replaced by former Marine Captain Nicanor Faeldon.

Lina assumed the top post at the Bureau of Customs in April 2015, after a brief 5-month stint as Customs commissioner in 2005 during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. – Rappler.com