By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Lawmakers asked on Tuesday, June 16 the transportation authorities to lay down “clear and comprehensive” transportation plans that would ease the plight of the commuting public.
During the hybrid meeting of the House Commitee on Metro Manila Development, chaired by Manila 1st district Rep. Manuel Luis “Manny” Lopez, officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) were criticized for their failure to respond to the snowballing concerns of the commuters and for implementing “experimental” initiatives that somehow unduly burden the public.
“Walong million ang empleyado sa Metro Manila, kung halimbawa po, 20 percent na lang papasok gaano karaming sasakyan, anong mga ruta ang dapat gamitin, ano ba ang plano ninyo? ‘Yan po ang hindi namin naririnig hanggang sa ngayon,” Caloocan City 2nd district Rep. Edgar Erice said.
(There are eight million employees in Metro Manila, just in case, 20 percent will return to work, how many vehicles, which routes will be used, what is your plan? We don’t hear it from you until now.)
He scored the government for taking for granted the welfare and well-being of hundred of thousands of workers who suffered because of “lack of mass public transportation.”
“Parang pabor tayo sa mas kaya at pinahirapan natin ang daan daang libong mga manggawa maglakad, magbisikleta, makiangkas, matulog sa lansangan. Pinabayaan natin sila. Yung transport strategy natin pabor sa may sasakyan,” Erice said.
(It seems that we are favoring those who are moneyed and we are burdening the hundreds of thousands of workers, we made them walk, hitchhike, sleep on the streets. We have taken them for granted. Our transport strategy are favorable to vehicle owners.)
Senior Citizens partist Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. asked the MMDA to fully disclose its “comprehensive” transportation plan.
“Ang kulang na nakikita ko sa Metro Manila, wala po silang transportation framework. Dapat sinusubmit ito sa committee,” he said.
(What is lacking in Metro Manila, as I see it is lack of transportation framework. This should be submitted to the committee.)
“I agree with Congressman Erice na ang problema po talaga ng (that the real problem of the) billions of workers sa NCR , how they can access our major public transportation line such as MRT and LRT. Baka ang (Maybe the) MMDA can publicly disclose their comprehensive tranportation plan kung saan makikita ng taumbayan ang interconnection sa mass transportation sytem natin (wherein the public can see the interconnection in our mass transportation system),” he added.
For his part, Marikina 1st district Rep. Bayani Fernando asked the transportation agencies to “improve on public transport and focus on it”.
He said instead of implementing a new system for buses plying the EDSA, the MMDA should fully implement their proposed organized bus route system.