Palace: Duterte's claim on EDSA decongestion based on facts

Published June 10, 2021, 3:02 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said President Duterte was right when he claimed that the dreaded traffic gridlock in EDSA has been solved, saying his statement was based on a business decision.

President Duterte and the EDSA traffic (Malacañang photo and Manila Bulletin photo)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Duterte claimed that the traffic congestion in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare was now a thing of the past as his administration has already solved the problem.

In his press briefing on Thursday, June 10, Roque said Duterte’s claim was accurate because of the infrastructure projects funded by the government and private sector.

“Hindi po haka-haka ‘yan (That’s not hearsay). That’s based on a business decision and that’s based on projections and facts now na mas maraming dumaraan na ngayon (that many vehicles are able to pass by there now),” he said.

“Nagkakaroon ng (We now have an) alternative route to the north and to the south, not having to pass through EDSA,” he added.

Roque further explained that there was business involved in decongesting EDSA.

“‘Yan naman po ay bahagi ng negosyo (That is part of business),” he said.

“Kung hindi sila makabawi doon sa napakalaking halaga na ginugol nila panggawa ng konektor na bilyon-bilyones, eh hindi po nila itutuloy ‘yan (If the private sector cannot earn back the billions they spent for the connector, they won’t pursue that),” he added.

“Kaya nila tinuloy ‘yan, alam nila na merong daraan miski magbabayad sila dahil mas mabilis nga at dahil hindi na sila dadaan sa EDSA, at dahil po ‘yan nababawasan ang dumaraan (The private sector proceeded with the project because they know that motorists will pass by the connector even if they had to pay for toll because they won’t have to go through EDSA. With that, we have lesser vehicles passing by EDSA),” he continued.

Aside from the connector, Roque said the bus lanes helped in decongesting EDSA.

“Ngayon po hindi na magulo ang trapiko dahil wala nang mga bus na kung saan-saan dumaraan (The traffic is no longer messy anymore because no more buses are going wherever they want to),” he said.

“Nandoon na sila sa mga dedicated bus lanes (They are now taking the dedicated bus lanes),” he added.

During his interview with Quiboloy, Duterte said he poured all money for the 18-kilometer Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project that supposedly allowed the travel time from Cubao to the airport to be cut down to 15 minutes.

The Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project that links the northern and southern portion of Metro Manila was completed in October 2020 and opened in January 2021.

The project was approved in September 2013 under the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.