THE VIEW FROM RIZAL
Last week, President Duterte announced that he is bowing out of politics, a move that elicited mixed emotions and reactions.
“It is time to give way to a new set of leaders who will hopefully continue the reforms, programs and projects that this administration has pursued over the past few years, broadcast media quoted him as saying.
Some say it will be difficult for President Duterte to make a complete exit from the political scene. Others point out that the President is a master of political timing, and that he may have found the perfect opportunity to take a rest from the taxing, energy-consuming work of national leadership.
Whatever happens in the wake of the President’s announcement, he has already cemented his legacy in the infrastructure front.
The President’s “Build, Build, Build” strategy has been a wise move. It is one of the programs undertaken by the President that has had real, meaningful and life-changing impact on many Filipinos.
It has given people efficient, convenient and comfortable “connections.” Infrastructure connects people to the places where their work and business are located. The efficient connection creates convenience and comfort. It also creates new opportunities for expanded enterprise, prosperous means of livelihood and better lives.
This was what happened when the administration of President Duterte brought to completion an infrastructure project that remained merely a dream for the past many years.
We refer to the extension of the LRT Line 2 up to Masinag in Antipolo City and the construction of the Antipolo Station.
Today, the station serves thousands of commuters from Marikina and Antipolo cities who travel to Quezon City and Manila for work and for business.
When face-to-face classes resume in the near future, the value of the completion of this project under President Duterte’s administration will be fully realized. Thousands of Marikeños and Antipoleños attend school in Quezon City and at the university belt in Manila.
The Antipolo station will make their travel faster, safer and more convenient.
In building such infrastructure, the national government also “built hope.” When the government fulfills the dream of the ordinary people, they learn to hope. Hope is strengthened by promises fulfilled.
Recently, President Duterte’s administration fueled the resurgence of hope once more with the unveiling of another “Build, Build, Build” project.
Several days ago, the transportation department unveiled the ₱58.9 billion Metro Rail Transit Line 4 Project. This will be a monorail system which is expected to be fully operational by 2028.
The monorail system will begin from Taytay, Rizal and end at its terminal in N. Domingo St. in San Juan City – minutes away from the LRT Line 2 Station in SM Santa Mesa. That is a total run of 15.56 kilometers.
Based on its design, this system will have about 13 stations. About six of those stations will be located in the Rizal towns of Taytay and Cainta.
According to initial studies, this latest transportation system, once completed, will reduce the travel time from Cainta to San Juan City from the nearly two excruciating hours in traffic to a mere 27 minutes.
MRT 4 will be a major help to executives and employees working in the central business districts and who have chosen to build their homes and raise their children in gentler communities of Rizal province. We recall the time when our fellow Rizaleños who live in these towns had to wake up at 3 a.m. and leave their homes by 4 a.m. to make it on time to their respective offices and places of business.
The system will ply the Ortigas Extension and Ortigas Avenue routes, and will be intersecting with two of the busiest thoroughfares in the metropolis: EDSA and C-5. Ortigas Extension used to be a narrow two-lane road. There was a time when the commute and drive along this road took forever. That the day would come when people can travel this route and get to their destination in minutes was unimaginable.
Now, it can be real.
Some say we should not count on the project being completed by 2028. There will be a new administration next year which will be in office for the next six years. There is no basis to say that the next administration would ensure that this project – which was started under the Duterte administration – would be finished within the original timetable.
We believe that was precisely the President’s message: that the next generation of leaders would continue the projects started under this administration.
President Duterte showed that the combination of will and way can get projects of this magnitude completed despite years of delay.
That is why we can now enjoy the luxury of holding on to Hope.
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