Gov't urged to stop blaming previous administration for transport woes

Michael Delizo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 13 2019 01:26 PM | Updated as of Oct 13 2019 06:14 PM

MANILA -- A transport expert on Sunday said the Duterte administration should stop blaming the previous administration for the transport mess, noting that the current government has also failed.

In a media forum in Manila, engineer Rene Santiago said President Rodrigo Duterte could have done many things in the past 3 years, including the modernization of jeepneys and doubling the capacity of MRT-3.

"So, ano ang nangyari sa 3 years? Ang bine-blame nila sino-sinong administration," Santiago said. "After 3 years, wala ka pang napakitang dagdag sa MRT-3? You can easily double the capacity of MRT... but we didn't see any action."

Santiago said it is now impossible for Duterte to solve these transport problems in the remaining 3 years of his term even if he is given emergency powers.

However, Santiago believes Duterte could still finish some projects to ease commuter problems. These include the sharing of private roads and the construction of flyovers to connect highly congested areas.

Santiago also doubted the capacity of some neophyte officials to lead the "Build, Build, Build" program of Duterte. 

"Majority of the ("Build, Build, Build") project will not get built. It can't happen. May mga project na takes time. Tapos pinangako, manganganak, matatapos 'yan in 3 months? Saka sino ba namumuno sa infrastructure projects? Bagito lahat. They have no prior training and exposure," he said. 

A "transport crisis" is plaguing tens of thousands of passengers in Metro Manila, an activist earlier said after glitches stalled all 3 of the region's railways last week.

Government, however, disagreed and said there was instead a "traffic crisis."