When President, Rodrigo Duterte (PRRD), assumed office in 2016, one of the daunting tasks that rested on his shoulders was to solve the dreaded traffic congestion along the Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA). The traffic congestion was so bad that the country was losing billions of pesos daily due to missed opportunities, fuel and so on, according to a study done by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Just recently, however, the President declared that his government finally resolved the issue, and one can now go to the airport (NAIA), coming from Cubao in Quezon City, in as little as 15 minutes.
“The traffic now is lighter. If you go to the airport from Cubao, it’s about 15 minutes,” PRRD told evangelist Apollo Quiboloy, during an interview on his show.
PRRD added that, when he assumed office in Malacañang, the traffic congestion in EDSA was terrible and it was a crisis, but not anymore. “The traffic situation in EDSA is now better. But early on during my administration, it was a crisis,” said PRRD.
He then told Quiboloy that his advisers suggested that the government needs to borrow money to build additional infrastructure.
“My bright boys (advisers) advised that we need to borrow money. We can maybe adopt an MRT (mass transport) or something going up (elevated structure). But we need money.”
Skyway Stage 3
When PRRD mentioned “something going up,” he definitely meant San Miguel’s Skyway Stage 3 (SS3) project. “It behooves upon me now really to find out a solution to this crisis. Now, this one on the top (SS3), I poured all the money there.”
The SS3 is an 18-kilometer elevated megastructure that connects the Metro Manila Skyway in Makati, to the tip of the North Luzon Expressway in Balintawak, Quezon City.
It also connects to another elevated structure that links motorists to NAIA – the NAIA Expressway (NAIAX).
Far from 15-minutes
Like many of our readers, we at MotoPinas.com are also everyday motorcycle riders (and sometimes car drivers) ourselves and we have a pretty good idea of what the real traffic situation is on EDSA.
Unfortunately, like what most netizens raised in the comments section of the announcement, we also think that even though classes are at-home and a lot of employees also have the same at-home arrangement, the traffic situation in EDSA is still a far cry from the 15-minute Cubao-NAIA travel time that the President claims.
Again, we’re still in the middle of the pandemic, what more if it’s back to the “old normal” where students, employees, and people can go outside?
But let’s give credit to where credit is due. Ever since EDSA boss, Col. Bong Nebrija, and his team took charge of enforcing traffic discipline along EDSA, traffic has greatly improved. Motorists are now following the law. This only means that being a disciplined driver or motorcycle rider can make a huge difference in our road's traffic situation.
Also, the addition of the EDSA Carousel busway meant that bus drivers can no longer take two lanes off of EDSA as their illegal terminals.
Let's just hope that soon, it will really take only 15-minutes from Cubao to NAIA.