Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian has urged the Aquino administration to present concrete solutions to Metro Manila’s monstrous traffic jams that has become a big burden to the daily lives of both motorists and commuters.
“For one, heavy traffic can be fatal especially when there are medical emergencies and ambulances cannot get through the sea of vehicles. There is congestion not only in the main thoroughfares but secondary roads as well,” said Gatchalian.
The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) lawmaker also pointed out that congestion could also be fatal to the macro- and micro-economy.
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“It does not only choke the economy given that Metro Manila is the country’s business capital, but it also hurts the financial survival of the people who have to wake up early and brave the horrendous traffic just to get to work,” explained Gatchalian.
A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showed that the economy can face productivity losses skyrocketing to P6 billion a day by 2030 from the current P2.4 billion if no government intervention is made on Metro Manila’s traffic congestion.
“The Aquino government should present to the public concrete solutions with timelines of deliverables on how they will manage the heavy traffic. Are they going to build more roads? Are they going to implement a new traffic scheme? Are they going to limit the number of car purchases,” he said.
Gatchalian also called the attention of the national government about the recent report of the PNP’s Highway Patrol Group, which showed there already have been 11,285 traffic accidents from January to June this year. Last year, the total number of accidents reached 15,572.
Of the total number for this year’s first half, 9,842 were due to human error, led by bad turning (3,210) and bad overtaking (2,778).
“Horrible traffic can cause people’s temper flare up and commit human error. If the government does not want the number of traffic accidents to break records, they should have a workable strategy that will be implemented before we hit the ber- months, when traffic is expected to get worse because of the holiday season,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian is the author of House Bill No. 5098, also known as the “Proof of Parking Space Act,” which would require buyers of brand new cars, whether individuals or firms, to execute an affidavit indicating the availability of an existing parking space for the vehicle to be bought.
“The road congestion in Metro Manila is worsened by the idle vehicles parked on the sides of streets, which hamper the flow of motor vehicle and foot traffic. This can be solved if car owners have their own parking spaces,” Gatchalian said.