Palace says less traffic since Skyway 3 project began

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2014 04:08 PM | Updated as of Feb 22 2014 12:08 AM

MANILA - Malacañang on Friday said traffic volume along Osmeña Highway decreased since the construction of Skyway 3 began.

This is proof that motorists have started using alternate routes, according to Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma.

“According to [Metro Manila Development Authority] Chairman Francis Tolentino, traffic volume along South Super Highway has been reduced by more than seven percent from 131,000 to 122,000 vehicles daily since the start of construction last Monday evening. This shows that affected motorists have begun using alternate routes, adjacent to the construction area,” Coloma said as he continued to justify the construction even if it may cause heavy traffic.

Reacting to protest actions denouncing the construction, Coloma said the benefits that the new roads would bring outweigh any inconvenience.

“Malinaw ang benepisyo na idudulot ng Skyway III at NLEX-SLEX connector projects. Magkakaroon ng malaking ginhawa para sa mga mamamayan dahil sa pinaikling oras ng paglalakbay. Ngunit bago natin makamit ang mga benepisyo, kailangan ng konting sakripisyo. Ayon sa isang salawikain: ‘Kapag may tiyaga, may nilaga.’ ‘Di po ba, sulit na sulit naman ang magiging resulta ng ating pagpapasensiya,” he said.

President Aquino has directed the relevant agencies to “fine-tune” measures that would mitigate the inconvenience that the construction may cause the public.

“In a meeting this morning, the President directed the Secretaries of the [Department of Public Works and Highways], Department of Transportation and Communications and Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Chairman of MMDA to fine-tune mitigation and remedial measures designed to minimize the citizens’ inconvenience, in coordination with Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Trade and Industry,” Coloma said.

As to the proposal to have a 4-day workweek, the Palace is leaving it up to companies if they can afford to implement flexible working hours.

The President has also directed a study of the feasibility of reopening the Pasig River ferry service.