MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has rolled our several measures to ease crippling traffic in the capital in his first 100 days in office, even before Congress grants him "special powers" to solve the crisis, a Cabinet official said Thursday.
The capacity of the decrepit Metro Rail Transit, which ferries roughly half a million people daily, will be increased to 60 coaches from the current 48, while train speeds will be increased to 50 kph from 40 kph, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
The crackdown on illegal parking and unlicensed or "colorum" public transport vehicles will also be intensified under a joint police and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) task force, he told DZMM.
Bus stations located on major roads will be transferred to a central terminals, he said.
"Hindi po natin hihintayin iyung special power para tugunan iyung problema ngayon," Tugade told radio dzMM.
The proposed "special powers" will allow government to open private subdivisions to traffic and do away with public bidding for certain projects.
The economy loses P2.4 billion daily due to traffic according to a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the new government said it has deteriorated into a "crisis," Tugade earlier said.
Tugade said Thursday he would appoint an undersecretary each for air, land and sea travel.
"Kapag ginawa mo 'yan, matutumbok mo agad kung sino ang accountable," he said.
Tugade said he would implement the long-planned phaseout of jeepneys while planning more routes for point-to-point buses.