TWO senatorial candidates of Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) hailed the administration, particularly the Department of Transportation, for making possible the construction of the first subway in Metro Manila.
Both reelectionists JV Ejercito and Sonny Angara believe that this subway will improve the transportation system and ease the metropolis’ horrendous traffic.
“Congratulations to DoTr Sec. Tugade for really pushing for our railway projects, particularly the PNR-North, PNR-South, Mindanao railways system, and this time, what used to be like a dream is becoming a reality now -- the Metro Manila Subway System. One of the reasons why I support President Duterte is because he is the only President in the recent years to commit and spend P3 trillion for infrastructures in the next six years,” Ejercito said.
Ejercito lamented that Philippines is 30 years behind in terms of infrastructure development.
However, he said with this Build Build Build program the development can spread out to the countryside.
“I’m glad that the President has the political will to really push for this. He has the political will to bite the bullet kahit medyo maghihirap muna tayo, konting trapik, pero dapat nating gawin. The only way we can spread out development to the countryside and, at the same time, decongest Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao, is through infrastructure development and transport modernization,” he added.
For his part, Sen. Angara said the construction of the country’s first subway line and other key mass transit will help restore public confidence in the local rail transit system, which has been under fire due to its poor and unreliable service.
“The Metro Manila Subway, along with the MRT-7, offers hope to railway commuters who have been putting up with long lines, passenger congestion, defective coaches and generally poor maintenance in existing railway lines, particularly the MRT-3,” Angara said.
“Panahon na para ibalik natin ang tiwala ng mga tao sa ating rail transport system at gawin itong mas kapakipakinabang para sa mamamayan,” Angara added.
The Department of Transportation held the groundbreaking for the P350-billion underground railway system project on February 27 in Valenzuela as part of the solution to solve the perennial traffic problem in Metro Manila. The 36-kilometer subway line, which is expected to be completed in 2025, is envisioned to serve 370,000 passengers per day and connect Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City and Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City within 30 minutes.
Angara said that a reliable and efficient railway system was vital to the nation’s economic progress, as he noted a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency showing that Mega Manila’s traffic jam was costing the economy a staggering P5.4 billion in lost opportunities a day.
To help ease the worsening traffic congestion in Metro Manila and other urban centers in the country, Angara said the government must encourage people to take mass transit rather than use their own cars.