During his fourth State of the Nation Address yesterday, President Rodrigo Duterte addressed the issue of traffic congestion. There, he said that the country loses Php 3.5 billion a day due to traffic in Metro Manila. He then instructed the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and local government units (LGUs) to ensure the 'speedy and smooth flow of traffic' in their respective jurisdictions.
“Reclaim all public roads that are being used for private entities. Marami diyan (there are lot there),” said the President. He tackled the issue of officials not going along with the plan to clear the streets, stating that establishments (both formal and informal) that are favored by a city government's which impede the flow of traffic must be shut down. He went on to tell DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) secretary Eduardo Año to suspend mayors or governors who refuse to comply.
"If there is a mayor or governor, kung sino kang demonyo ka, i-suspend mo (whoever demon he is, suspend him). Give him time, and if he cannot, isuspend mo na lang, wala tayong magawa (just suspend him, we cannot do anything). They just keep on pleasing their own constituents," said President Duterte.
One city actively and prominently taking back the streets is Manila, under the leadership of newly elected Mayor Francisco 'Isko' Moreno Domagoso. Recently, there was a major cleanup operation which cleared the streets of Divisoria, Carriedo, and Bluementritt. Moreno has been proactive in the city's drive to clear the streets of the capital from obstructions.