From skyways to rural development, presidential bets address traffic problem

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 27) — Heavy traffic, especially in Metro Manila, has been a daily struggle for many Filipinos. So how will the presidential candidates solve it if they get elected?

During the CNN Philippines Presidential Debate on Sunday, three presidential bets were asked about the problem.

Senator Many Pacquiao emphasized the importance of building more skyways to lessen traffic, which causes billions of losses a day for the country.

As chairman of the public works committee in the Senate, he aired his frustration over the lack of development and delayed completion of projects.

Kailangan may common sense sa lahat ng mga problema… at may tunay na pagmamahal na gustong umunlad ang ating bansa, hindi hanapbuhay,” Pacquiao added.

[Translation: We need common sense in all our problems and genuine love to improve our country, not just livelihood.]

Vice President Leni Robredo highlighted the need for the establishment of active transport as many Filipinos do not have their own vehicles and many rely on mass transportation.

She cited a Social Weather Stations poll that said a big majority of Filipinos support cities or municipalities that promote and prioritize alternative modes of transportation like walking and cycling, but the country’s roads are not ready for such.

Kailangan ‘yung gobyerno magbuhos ng maraming pera para sa active transport para siguraduhin na ‘yung mga kababayan natin mayroong nasasakyan sa mababang halaga,” she pointed out.

[Translation: The government should pour in funds for active transport to ensure our people have transportation at a low cost.]

Aside from this, the government’s infrastructure program should also focus on rural development, Robredo said. Doing so would encourage workers, especially those in Metro Manila, to return to their provinces, she added.

This is a view she shared with Senator Panfilo Lacson, who said his administration will empower local government units by allocating them with budget for their own programs.

Lacson also lauded the Duterte administration’s Build Build Build program, but noted it is already time to shift to Public Private Partnership.