Palace mulls tapping traffic expert to solve EDSA woes

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2019 02:51 PM

MANILA — The Duterte administration may tap a traffic expert to help solve gridlocks in Metro Manila, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Thursday.

Panelo said the government would consider “everything” to address traffic jams on EDSA which cost the economy an estimated P2.4 billion daily.

“Everything will be considered to solve the traffic problem in EDSA,” he said, when asked to comment on Sen. Grace Poe’s call for an “expert” to handle the problem.

Panelo added that Poe is free to suggest someone to handle the problem after the lawmaker said President Rodrigo Duterte should consider designating a traffic expert as she reiterated that emergency powers were unnecessary.

“Maybe Sen. Grace has a person in mind, why don’t she come out with it?” Panelo said.

Seemingly fed up with Manila's traffic problem, Duterte last month said to just let EDSA "rot."

Duterte had alluded to Poe before for supposedly hindering government efforts to get funding to fix the traffic problem on the main thoroughfare after the senator repeatedly rejected calls for emergency powers for the President to solve crippling traffic jams.

"You need not have emergency powers for the president to designate the local government and the national government to work together for a harmonize traffic plan," Poe said Thursday.

Three years later and halfway through his term, no emergency powers have been granted the President to solve the traffic problem.

The expanded powers would allow government to employ faster procurement methods for infrastructure projects meant to address the traffic problem.