To ease traffic, MMDA suggests 'open university'


Posted at Feb 12 2014 05:57 PM | Updated as of Feb 13 2014 01:57 AM

MANILA -- Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino on Wednesday proposed that universities and colleges in Metro Manila adopt the distance learning system or "open university" scheme to ease traffic congestion in major thoroughfares.

According to Tolentino, homeschooling program will allow students, especially those who are also working or living far from their schools, to study in the comfort of their homes and at their own time while not adding up to the traffic volume on the roads.

Among the schools currently practicing distance learning include the University of the Philippines (UP), De La Salle University (DLSU), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM).

"I suggest that more school institutions in Metro Manila adopt this open university system as a traffic-alleviating measure. Our objective here is to reduce the number of students going out in the streets, especially during rush hours," Tolentino said in a statement.

"In an open university, you only have occasional face-to-face class sessions, you communicate through the Internet, so most of the time you only stay at your home. That's a big reduction to pedestrian, commuter, and vehicular volume," he added.

He said schools may also want to transfer some of their students to their offsite or satellite campuses to lessen their student population in the metro.

He noted that students living near satellite campuses, which are mostly located in the provinces, will greatly benefit from this system.

"Offsite campuses will help decongest student population in Metro Manila which, in turn, will redound to lesser volume of commuter, pedestrian, and vehicular volume in our road networks," Tolentino said.

Those who have offsite campuses are the UP, PUP, DLSU, Lyceum of the Philippines, Mapua Institute of Science and Technology, Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), and Centro Escolar University, among others.

The University of Sto. Tomas (UST), meanwhile, is set to open its new campus in General Santos City.

The MMDA chief aired his proposals in light of the impending construction of 16 traffic infrastructure projects in the metro in the coming weeks. These are expected to cause serious traffic problems.

The construction of Skyway Stage 3 will start on February 17, and will cut across the vicinity of 23 universities and colleges and several private and public elementary and secondary schools along its path from Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati City to Balintawak, Quezon City.

Apart from Skyway Stage 3, 15 other infrastructure projects are lined up for construction:

  • NAIA Expressway Phase 2
  • Gil Puyat-Makati-Avenue-Paseo de Roxas underpass
  • Sta. Monica-Lawton Avenue bridge
  • CP Garcia Avenue-McKinley Hill ramp
  • Repair and asphalt overlay of Magallanes Interchange
  • Edsa-Taft Avenue flyover
  • MRT Line 3/ LRT Line 1 extension common station
  • LRT Line 2 East extension up to Masinag
  • LRT Line 1 Extension (Cavite)
  • Edsa-Roosevelt Ave. interchange
  • Espana Avenue-Lacson Avenue interchange
  • Repair/rehabilitation and improvement of South Superhighway Makati
  • NLEX-SLEX connector road above the PNR alignment
  • Edsa-West Avenue-North Avenue interchange