It appears that the key to solving the worsening Metro Manila traffic is to approve and complete infrastructure projects as soon as possible

In the senate hearing yesterday, Senator Grace Poe as chair of the Public Services Committee, together with other senators, mayors, and representatives of government agencies gathered to discuss how to ease the traffic in Metro Manila, and mull the need for emergency powers for the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade claimed that without the approval of an emergency power, the completion of a project to ease traffic could take at least two to three years. He also said that it would not take a year to complete but it will be faster than the usual since there will be no red tape involved.

With no red tape, documents issued by the Philippine Government Agencies will be easier done with no complicated and time-consuming procedures.

However, the Anti-Red Tape act which was co-authored by Senator Lacson, has already been submitted before but not yet approved. In this act, documents unapproved or not given attention by the government agency shall be deemed approved after only five days.

To solve this issue at hand, Senator Grace Poe suggested to have a time limit in issuing a permit instead.

“Emergency power is contentious,” said Senator Panfilo Lacson. He added that instead of working on implementing the emergency power, they could handle other issues that are easily doable such as the issue with franchising.

According to the senator, the franchising issued at the present is more than the road maximum capacity contributing to the worsening traffic condition in Metro Manila. Meanwhile, the secondary roads that were supposed to ease traffic now consist of obstructions which should be removed.

Senator Lacson suggested that they should focus on that first before they take on the bigger tasks. For instance, they should clean all obstructions first on the secondary roads then move on with the approval of the emergency power.