President Rodrigo Duterte’s earlier promise of a five-minute travel time between Makati and Edsa would be fulfilled under his watch, Malacañang assured the public.
In an interview with dzIQ, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President’s pledge may not materialize this year due to the “conditions” that were not met.
Panelo did not elaborate on the supposed conditions that were set to address the perennial traffic problems in Metro Manila, specifically along Edsa, the metropolis’ busiest highway.
“Well, alam mo ‘yung pangako, depende sa mga factor o kalakaran na magbibigay prutas doon sa kanyang pangako (Well, you know, the promise depends on the factors and trends that will give fruition to his promise),” the Palace official said.
“Kung hindi natupad ‘yung mga kalakaran na yun kasi those conditions are not present, hindi pa magaganap ‘yun (If those trends were not met because those conditions are not present, the promise would not yet be fulfilled),” he added.
An average of 405,882 vehicles plying Edsa every day, as of August 2019, the Metro Manila Development Authority earlier reported.
Waze’s September 2019 data revealed that it took 4.9 minutes to drive one kilometer in the Philippine capital.
In June this year, Duterte vowed to secure a five-minute travel time between Cubao and Makati for commuters and drivers by yearend.
Panelo said failure to fulfill Duterte’s promise does not mean it was not attainable under the current administration.
“Hindi ibig sabihin na hindi maganap ngayong taon, hindi magaganap hanggang sa matapos ang kanyang termino (It doesn’t mean that if it did not happen this year, it would not happen until his term ends),” he said.
“Hangga’t may buhay ay may pag-asa (As long as there is life, there is hope),” Panelo added, when quizzed if Duterte can still deliver on his promise.
Sympathizing with commuters due to crippling traffic jams in Metro Manila, Duterte on Dec. 10 ordered concerned state agencies, including the Department of Transportation, to introduce innovations to ease traffic congestion in the country’s metropolis.
The Duterte government’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program is seen as a solution to address the traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
Around 38 of the 100 flagship infrastructure projects are targeted to be completed by the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022, according to Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and chief executive officer Vivencio Dizon last November 13. (PNA)