Robie de Guzman
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Wednesday expressed confidence that it will be able to achieve President Rodrigo Duterte’s target of reducing the travel time from Cubao in Quezon City to Makati City to five minutes by December.
There are only four months left before the president’s deadline which was issued early this year but the DPWH said the shortened travel time will be made possible through a “combination” of infrastructure projects in Metro Manila seen to be completed this year.
When asked which projects will help shorten the drive, Anna Mae Lamentillo, who heads the DPWH’s Build, Build, Build Interagency Committee, admitted there is no singular way to do it.
She added that a bigger announcement will be made on how the target will be achieved.
“There is no singular strategy for this program pero ayaw kong ma-preempt ang (but I don’t want to preempt the) formal announcement for this project. I hope we can wait for the formal announcement on how this will be done,” she told reporters during a Malacañang press briefing.
Some of the projects under the Duterte administration’s infrastructure program are designed to reduce road traffic and travel time especially in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfares, Edsa and C5.
These include the Metro Manila Skyway Project, North Luzon Expressway Harbor Link, C5 South Link, and the NLEx-SLEx Connector Road which are seen to offer access and alternate routes for motorists.
Also being constructed are bridges seen to link business hubs, as well as railway projects that are envisioned to reduce the travel time and ease road congestions.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar earlier said that some of the projects are expected to be completed within this year
“What we have right now is a master plan that will effectively decongest Edsa and C5 by about 300,000 vehicles in total,” Lamentillo said.
Solving traffic woes in Edsa is one of Duterte’s promises that is yet to be fulfilled. He previously asked Congress to grant him emergency powers to solve the problem but to no avail.
In his fourth State of the Nation Address, Duterte ordered local governments to clear public roads being used for private ends.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has responded to the chief executive’s order by directing mayors to conduct a 60-day operation to clear roads of illegal vendors and structures obstructing sidewalks. (with details form Rosalie Coz)