Former Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Francis N. Tolentino yesterday sought the conversion of the fund allocation of the recently abolished Road Board into a fund which will support the improvement and rehabilitation of railways throughout the country.
Tolentino, who was former chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has repeatedly emphasized the need to establish a more efficient and reliable mass transport system in order to help address the perennial evil of traffic congestion particularly in the metro.
“A mass transportation system that will be economical and efficient for the riding public will not only address our traffic problems but will similarly benefit the common Filipino using public transport as a means to mobilize himself.”
“An improved railway system will enable the transport of people, goods and services at greater speed, and hence, the flow of development from the centers to the edges, so to speak,” said Tolentino.
In many European countries as well as in China, India, Russia and Japan, railways subsidies are offered to sustain railway operations and improve services. In Germany for example, approximately 17 Billion Euros of railway subsidies contribute to the efficiency of the German public transport system.
Tolentino added that railways are growth channels that have long been underutilized in our country and that now is the perfect time to revive these lines in order to make inclusive growth happen.