By Raymund Antonio

Enough trains in good condition and optimization of the routes and operations of public utility vehicles were just among the solutions offered by Vice President Leni Robredo to ease traffic flow in Metro Manila.

Vice President Leni Robredo  (OVP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Vice President Leni Robredo (OVP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Robredo, the widow of former Interior secretary and longtime Naga mayor Jesse Robredo, said an efficient mass transport system is key to solve the horrendous traffic in the metropolis.

“We need to work together to find a more holistic approach,” she said.

The Vice President explained that when the mass transport is developed, Filipinos will be encouraged to use public transportation instead of their private vehicles.

“In the short-term, government has to ensure that breakdowns of our public trains are minimized and that there are enough trains to service the public,” she said.

“Routes and operations of jeepneys and buses need to be optimized so that people need not wait in line for hours for a ride,” Robredo continued.

The country’s second top official went on to pitch for “holistic” solutions, telling the government it should “strive to benefit everyone and not leave some people unduly burdened.”

“We continue to urge the government to implement holistic solutions, instead of hasty stopgap ones that will truly address the root causes of our traffic problem,” she said.

The proposal from Robredo came after the gridlock along ESDA this week despite the implementation of the yellow lane for buses and the “voluntary” dry run of the provincial bus ban along EDSA.

Under LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2019-001, it requires all provincial buses to end their routes at any integrated terminal exchange, prohibiting them from traversing or passing through EDSA, while MMDA Regulation No. 19-002 revokes the issuance of business permits to all public utility vehicle terminals and operators along the major road.

Robredo, who still takes the public transport in going home to Naga City, cited the MMDA data which showed provincial buses were only a “small fraction” of traffic on EDSA.

“Disallowing provincial buses is a band aid solution that will not significantly address the traffic problem but would instead penalize people who come from the provinces to work in the city,” she said.