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Cayetano: Develop rural areas, provinces to solve traffic woes in MM

By Office of the Senate Majority Leader
September 11, 2015

PASAY CITY – "The solution to Metro Manila traffic problem is not to build more infrastructure INSIDE NCR, but to build more OUTSIDE the city."

This is Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano's proposition amid the looming congestion problem affecting millions of residents, motorists and commuters in the metropolis daily.

Cayetano contends that the best way to relieve traffic jams in Metro Manila is to start allocating more funds that will kick start the development of local economies in provinces outside the National Capital Region (NCR).

He says he is set to file a bill seeking to establish a Philippine Decentralization Committee (PDC), which 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.

For instance, Cayetano suggested that the Department of Labor and Employment be transferred to the Ilocos Region (Region I), which had the second highest unemployment rate in 2015, and the Tourism department to tourist haven Cebu in Central Visayas (Region VII). While the Department of Energy, he envisions, can be relocated to the CARAGA Region (Region XIII), known for its abundant renewable energy sources.

He is also advocating 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.

"I pushed for a long-term and a more feasible solution and that is to create alternative corridors of development outside NCR. This will not only resolve traffic jams in the already overcrowded capital, but will also extend growth throughout the rest of the country," the senator said.

In an effort to manage the heavy traffic situation in Manila, President Benigno Aquino III has recently designated the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) to lead the enforcement of traffic rules and ease the congestion in six “choke points” along the Epifanio Delos Santos Ave. (EDSA).