By FRED M. LOBO
The Duterte administration has announced it has at least 45 big-ticket infrastructure projects to decongest the roads of Metro Manila and link the country from North to South.
“Build, Build, Build” program to kill monstrous traffic in the metropolis, the government vows. Let’s pray it works.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar said, in a roundtable interview with the Manila Bulletin, that most or 75 percent of these big-ticket projects will be completed by the end of President Duterte’s term in 2022.
Massive infrastructure program eyed as DU30 legacy.
Villar said the projects include the milestone projects of the DPWH – Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, Harborlink, C-5 Southlink Expressway, NLEX-SLEX connector, and the Cavite-Laguna Expressway.
Projects will improve the country’s road network and ease traffic in three years, he said.
The DPWH chief identified the other big-ticket projects are the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge, Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, Bonifacio Global City-Ortigas Center Link Road Project, Southeast Metro Manila Expressway, C-6 (Phase I), Cavite Toll Expressway Project, Apayao-Ilocos Norte Road, and the Bauang-San Fernando City-San Juan Bypass Road, La Union.
“Most of the projects are expected to be completed by the time the President bows out of office,(but) it will still continue, especially with the pipeline that we have created,” Villar assured.
“So you see by the halfway point, we have already completed some. The first batch for 2020 to 2021 – we’ll see the Skyway, Harborlink, Calaex, and g C-5 Southlink in Metro Manila. And then we will see the next batch of projects in 2022, but overall definitely by the end of the President’s term,” Villlar explained.
“That I can guarantee and there will be a different country than when we came in,” he said.
Villar said that other projects are “on the advanced stage of planning,” under the “Build, Build, Build” program and “that’s why I wanted to show these projects so that the people will know that this will happen and it’s not all talk.”
Yes to more action, less talk.
He appealed to the public to understand that completing a certain infrastructure project requires years of planning and designing, and entails sacrifice.
“Whatever suffering we have now, it’s for a good purpose. Medyo luluwag na ang traffic natin by next year. I promise,” Villar assured.
Villar also vowed that by next year the original capacity of the Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) will return to its old form as most of the projects in Metro Manila are projected to give motorists a bypass for EDSA and Circumferential Road-5.
“I’m hoping to bring EDSA back to its original capacity,” Villar said.
Villar said the various elevated expressways are under construction in the metropolis and are causing traffic “ but why not finish it now for lesser traffic later,” Villar said.
Yes to more expressways. No to congestion and “killer” traffic snarls.
Meanwhile, the government assured that all-out efforts will be exerted to mitigate, if not solve, Metro Manila’s worsening water problem, from water rationing to dam build-up to dam construction.
Yes, hurry, remedy water shortage. It’s dangerous to our health — and smell.
Water concessionaires Manila Water Company Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. announced they will both regularly implement rotational water service interruptions starting this week and even until next year if water level at Metro Manila’s major water sources will not improve.
Please understand and cooperate, they appealed to customers.
Spokespersons of the two water firms said customers in Metro Manila will experience shortage in water supply almost on a daily basis due to lack of rains, leaving all the dams in the metropolis dry.
Prepare for the worst case scenario that the water supply interruption will be felt until next year if there won’t be enough rains and no new water sources, they warned.
Government authorities also explained that Metro Manila — home to more than 12 million people — gets its water supply from the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system but as of Tuesday, the water level at Angat Dam was at 186.44 meters, way lower than its spilling level of 217 meters, while Ipo Dam was at 100.48 meters, also below its spilling level of 101 meters.
A dry scenario develops and worsens.
“There has been scant rainfall at the Angat and Ipo watersheds over the past few days, resulting in the continuous decline of raw water levels… the volume of raw water entering our treatment facilities is short by around 250 million liters per day (MLD),” Maynilad pointed out.
” (But) if enough volume of raw water enters our treatment facilities, we can shorten or even postpone the scheduled service interruption,” the water company said.
The management of the Wawa Dam project of port magnate Enrique Razon assured that the dam will be operational by 2021 with a capacity to treat 80 million liters per day (MLD) to help service Metro Manila.
Yes to additional water sources. No to a thirsty and stinking populace.