Political will is key

September 15, 2018

Marawi, Boracay, and even the still festering illegal drug problem.

All these three pesky problems were addressed or being resolved by sheer political will.

And political will is the powerful stuff which the Duterte administration has plenty of.

And so we are sure that over time the seemingly intractable traffic problem of Metro Manila and other key urban centers would be solved with the same dose of political will.

And so we support The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) in calling for government to address Metro Manila's worsening traffic congestion with the “same intensity” as in dealing with the environmental decay of Boracay.

MAP President Ramoncito Fernandez said the business group appreciates the pace of implementation of infrastructure projects in the past two years. However, the government has to do it with “more vigor and political will”.

“The government needs to be ready and committed to address the challenges of implementing each infrastructure project. It has to do this with more vigor and political will. Perhaps, the same intensity as it is dealing with the current problem in Boracay,” Fernandez said, citing the demolition of illegal structures in Boracay Island.

While the government targets to ease the traffic congestion in the National Capital Region (NCR) by building more roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects, these are also expected to worsen the traffic situation in Metro Manila, he noted.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is implementing the Traffic Decongestion Program by rolling out high standard highways and expressways, construction and widening of national roads and bridges, construction of by-passes and diversion roads, construction of flyovers, interchanges, and underpasses.

Major road and railway infrastructure projects that the government is currently implementing include the construction of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 and Metro Rail Transit Line 7, and the repair of the Old Sta. Mesa Bridge in Metro Manila and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge in Makati City.

The DPWH is also set to repair the Guadalupe Bridge, a major infrastructure along Edsa, by 2019.

Fernandez added that the government should also implement some “quick fix” solutions to Metro Manila's traffic woes, which include clearing road obstructions along Mabuhay Lane, deploying more qualified traffic enforces, and installing more surveillance cameras in the streets.

“We do know the problem of traffic will not go away with these quick fixes. It must be complemented by accelerated construction of more elevated roads as well as access to metro express rails, and also bridges,” said Fernandez.