Gov't wants subdivision roads opened for public use

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2016 04:56 PM

EDSA traffic Manny Palmero, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The government is seeking to open roads of exclusive subdivisions around Metro Manila for the use of the public to unclog metro's highways. 

Transportation secretary Arthur Tugade told a Senate committee hearing Wednesday that the government is currently in talks with homeowners associations to make exclusive roads accessible to the public.

Residents in posh villages are expected to oppose the proposal, mainly due to security concerns.

But Tugade said such concerns will be addressed and guidelines will be set for the use of the private roads.

''Our choices for private roads will not be arbitrary or whimsical. We will not compromise the safety of the subdivisions. A security mechanism shall be in place. If need be, the security expense will be borne by the government,'' Tugade said.

The hearing comes on the heels of President Rodrigo Duterte's request to Congress to grant him emergency powers so he can fast-track infrastructure projects that will ease the traffic mess in the country's capital.

The already hellish traffic is expected to get worse before it could go better, as left and right infrastructure projects are expected to clog the capital's roads and highways.

ONE GOVERNING BODY VS TRAFFIC

Tugade also proposed the creation a singular body that will oversee and manage traffic flow in the capital, stripping local government units of powers over traffic management. 

He lamented that traffic management in the capital is fragmented, with LGUs having varying and sometimes contradicting traffic rules.

''What do we need is a synchronized, uniformed traffic system, traffic structure, traffic rules with one single traffic authority,'' Tugade said.

Tugade said currently, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) manages traffic in circumferential and radial roads while local government units have jurisdiction over smaller roads.

Tugade proposed that the MMDA supervise traffic in the entire Metro Manila while the emergency power is in effect.

Senator Franklin Drilon said the life of the emergency powers for Duterte will expire after the 17th Congress that will grant such terminates.