MANILA - Two Senate committees on Monday approved a resolution that sought to create an “Office of the Mobility Czar” to solve traffic woes in the Philippines’ 3 largest urban areas.
Nine of the 15 members of the committees on Public Services, and Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes signed a report that endorsed the “Mobility Relief Act” that seeks to “effectively address the transport and traffic crisis” in the country.
Under the measure, the mobility czar is tasked to come up with detailed plans on how to decongest Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Davao City.
“It is a crisis of national significance because losses due to traffic have amounted to billions of pesos a day, thus, requiring urgent, immediate and focused actions from the government,” the measure read.
The czar is expected to “prioritize” public transportation over private vehicles, including provisions for non-motorized transport such as pedestrian facilities and cycle ways.
The plans should be submitted to a congressional oversight committee (COC) within 30 days after the czar’s appointment. The czar is also tasked to create a separate long-term nationwide road map.
“The Mobility Czar shall submit a monthly report to the COC on the efficiency and effectiveness of the measures undertaken to implement this Act and alleviate the Traffic Crisis,” according to the proposal.
The proposal was endorsed nearly 2 months after the executive branch withdrew its bid for emergency powers to address the worsening congestion in key cities.