In Cebu Province: PB declares traffic crisis
CEBU, Philippines — Local legislators have declared a traffic crisis in Cebu Province.
This is stipulated in a resolution the Provincial Board approved during its regular session Monday.
The Board passed the resolution in response to the heavy congestion of private cars and public utility vehicles in the multiple passage points connecting the cities and municipalities in the province.
Board Member Glenn Soco, the author of the resolution, cited a study by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which revealed that the poorly-managed traffic system in the Metropolitan Cebu area alone equates to a daily average loss of P1.1 billion.
“The regular commuters, drivers and the riding public brace for the worsening traffic situation on a day-to-day basis that incidents of road-rage due to heated arguments during gridlocks are very common, traffic accidents which sometimes cause the loss of lives due to undisciplined driving are already happening,” Soco said in his privilege speech.
He said among the adverse effects of the traffic crisis is shortened time with family, exposure to pollution, fatigue for school children from waking up early to get to school on time, and people having no choice but to walk long stretches to get to their destinations.
“In totality, our quality of life is deteriorating by the day,” Soco said.
The resolution cites multiple causes that contribute to the traffic crisis, including flooding, laxity in road education, and obstruction of roads.
Soco also said that due to the worsening situation of traffic in the province, local government chiefs have taken it upon themselves to create solutions to the traffic problem in their respective jurisdictions.
Soco said a consolidated effort must be made by the LGUs and the province, as well as national agencies, to come up with a comprehensive solution to the traffic problem.
“A more effective approach would have been to harmonize the efforts and initiatives of the different government units and other national government agencies in order to streamline the implementation of efficient and sustainable road traffic policies and plans,” the resolution reads.
Soco also filed a separate resolution calling for expedited passage of “effective measures” to solve the traffic problem in Metro Cebu. The resolution also grants powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to execute steps to alleviate the traffic problem here.
This resolution follows the passage of Senate Bill No. 1284 or An Act Compelling the Government to Address the Transportation and Congestion Crisis Through the Grant of Emergency Powers to the President.
This act empowers the President to take necessary actions for the solution of what the resolution pegs as a “traffic calamity.”
Meanwhile, commenting on developments at the capital, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said national officials should not exhaust efforts in a debate on the traffic situation.
“What is happening in the national government, they are getting caught up in the debate whether it is a traffic crisis or not and then political lines are drawn,” she said.
“As I always said, napuros na lang sulti. Mas maayo pa tingali, let us just address it. Let’s find ways to address it,” she added.
Last month, Garcia met with members of the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB) and among the concerns tackled was the proposal for roundabouts are U-turn slots in lieu of existing intersections. However, the absence of the Department of Public Works and Highways Region 7 Director Edgar Tabacon stunted the development of the proposal.
Garcia is set to meet with the DPWH and the Mayors of the cities and municipalities in the Province to continue to discuss the state of the traffic of the province and the implementation of roundabouts and U-turn slots. JMO (FREEMAN)