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Build infrastructure outside Manila to solve traffic jams, Cayetano says

BUILDING MORE infrastructure outside the capital is the solution to the traffic problem in Metro Manila,
Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano said on Friday.

“The solution to the Metro Manila traffic problem is not to build more infrastructure inside [the National Capital Region] NCR, but to build more outside the city,” Mr. Cayetano said in a statement.

According to Mr. Cayetano, allocating more funds to initialize the development of local economies in provinces outside NCR is the best way to address traffic jams in the capital.

Mr. Cayetano said he would be filing a measure that seeks to establish a Philippine Decentralization Committee that will “study and determine specific programs aimed at enhancing the delivery of goods and services in the countryside, including the relocation of several agencies to other regions.”

One of his suggestions is to transfer the Department of Labor and Employment to the Ilocos Region or Region I, the Department of Tourism to Cebu in Region VII and the Department of Energy to the Caraga Region or Region XIII.

Mr. Cayetano said that Region 1 has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country, Cebu is a tourist haven while Caraga is known for having abundant renewable resources.

The Philippine Statistics Authority has reported in the July 2015 Labor Force Survey that the unemployment rate for July was 6.5% and that at 8.2%, Ilocos Region, together with Central Luzon (8.8%), NCR (8.2%) and Region IV-A or Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon (8%) had higher rates than the national figure.

Mr. Cayetano is also pushing for the establishment of a “reliable and efficient Luzon-wide transportation system, which will pave the way for the construction of an integrated railway system, high-standard highways, and strategically-located airports, seaports, and land transport stations in provinces all over Luzon.”

According to Mr. Cayetano, development outside NCR will not only resolve the problem of traffic but also extend growth to the rest of the country.

On Monday, 150 members of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group were deployed in six choke points along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue as part of the government’s bid to ease traffic along the capital’s main thoroughfare.

These are Balintawak in Caloocan City, Cubao in Quezon City, Ortigas Avenue in Pasig City, Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City, Guadalupe in Makati City and Taft Avenue in Pasay City.

Department of Public Works and Highways Sec. Rogelio L. Singson had said during their department’s budget briefing in the Senate earlier this week that the government is also considering carpooling in EDSA during peak hours from 7 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 8 pm to help ease traffic. -- Elizabeth E. Escaño

Source: bworldonline.com

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