MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday suggested transferring all government offices to provinces to decongest the traffic in Metro Manila.
Sotto proposed moving Malacañang to Clark in Pampanga, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Zambales, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Bulacan so people would no longer see the need to go to the metropolis.
“Another way to do, perhaps, or different kind of perspective as far as the grand transportation plan is concerned is to decongest Metro Manila itself by transferring all the government departments and department’s offices outside of Metro Manila,” Sotto said during a hearing of the Senate committee on public services.
“Kung ililipat mo ang Malacañang sa Clark, kung ililipat mo ang Kongreso sa labas, ilipat mo ang DENR sa Zambales, ilipat mo ang DPWH sa Bulacan, ilipat mo ang iba’t ibang departamento sa iba’t ibang probinsya, you will be creating road corridors, you will be decongesting Metro Manila,” he added.
“Wala nang pupunta sa Metro Manila. Doon na sila pupunta, doon na sila magkakaroon ng business,” Sotto further said.
The provincial bus ban along Edsa, which the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) proposed as a way to decongest the busy thoroughfare, is just a “band-aid” solution, Sotto said.
No parking in Metro Manila
Another solution to decongest Metro Manila, or at least Edsa, is to implement a “no parking” policy in all streets in the metropolis, Sotto said.
Citing his own experience, Sotto said it only takes him one hour and 15 minutes when he travels from his house in Quezon City to the Senate office in Pasay City plying the inner streets of the metropolis as opposed to his two hours and 10 minutes travel time when he traverses Edsa.
“Ang talagang solusyon to descongest Edsa is ‘no parking’ in Metro Manila. Buong Metro Manila, i-‘no parking’ mo,’ the Senate President said.
“Can you imagine if we remove all these parking area, ‘yung Edsa maluwag ‘yan dahil hindi na sila [private vehicles] dadaan ‘dun, ang daming bus eh. Hayaan mo na ‘yung mga bus at commuter dumaan sa Edsa, ‘yung ibang sasakyan sa loob,” he added. /jpv
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