SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House committee on Metro Manila development chaired by Rep. Winston Castelo asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to coordinate closely with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and other concerned agencies to ensure implementation of infrastructure projects in the metropolis under the “Build, Build, Build” Program will not worsen traffic in the National Capital Region.
“Development projects in Metro Manila could be contributory to the traffic situation especially if there will be no coordination among the government agencies,” said Castelo during a hearing.
Several major infrastructure projects have been laid down in Metro Manila to ease traffic and transport problems. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), for its part, plans to limit the transport network vehicle service (TNVS) units in Metro Manila and nearby provinces to help ease traffic.
“Minsan kasi sabay-sabay, walang planning katulad ng MMDA at DPWH. Kapag meron proyekto ang MMDA na re-blocking ganun din ang DPWH. Yung pagkuha ng permit ay hindi synchronized. For this purpose na sana ma-synchronize natin at ma-coordinate natin lahat,” Castelo said.
Rep. Bayani Fernando (1st District, Marikina City), former MMDA chairman, expressed concern that Metro Manila’s traffic situation has become “deeply problematic.”
Fernando asked what would be the significant project that can be completed this year that will ease the traffic situation in Metro Manila.
Department of Public Works and Highways-NCR Director Melvin Navarro said the DPWH is trying to finish all of these projects before the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte in July.
Navarro said another project that is expected to be finished is the Mindanao Avenue Extension that will run up to Gen. Ruiz and provide the northern links to Novaliches, Commonwealth Avenue and Quirino Highway.
“Those are major thoroughfares that can be finished this year,” he said.
Navarro said the DPWH has some projects that cannot be easily completed because of many obstructions that have to be addressed, such as the issue of right-of-way and re-location of informal settlers.
In Quezon City alone, Navarro said there are small package projects that were already finished like the road widening in Quezon Avenue, Wildlife Park in Quezon Memorial Circle, all the way going to University of the Philippines (UP).
“These are small projects pero nakakatulong pa rin na ma-address natin ang traffic,” Navarro added.
DPWH-PPP Director Alex Bote includes Segment 9 connecting North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) going to Karuhatan in Mac. Arthur Highway all the way to and C3.
For big projects, there is the 10-kilometer Laguna Lake highway from Taytay to Bicutan, the Eastern corridor four-lane roads and bridges including bike lane, all scheduled for completion this year. | EAG