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Poe: State of calamity won’t solve Metro traffic

MANILA, Philippines — With an estimated P3.5 billion in economic losses incurred per day due to traffic congestion, the government should listen to experts and stakeholders to address the monstrous traffic jams in Metro Manila, Sen. Grace Poe said yesterday.

What the government should do, Poe said, is listen to the recommendations of experts on how to improve the traffic situation in the metropolis.

“They don’t need to declare a state of traffic calamity. We feel it every single day. The government should employ the help of experts from all sectors,” Poe, who chairs the Senate public services committee, said in a statement.

“Clearly this is a crisis that needs to be addressed. Adding more roads is not the solution,” she added.

Earlier, the Management Association of the Philippines urged President Marcos to declare a state of calamity to solve traffic woes.

Poe said mass transit should be improved and expanded.

“Public electric vehicles are already being utilized in many countries. Our air quality can improve if we shift to e-vehicles,” she said.

Poe, however, said any initiative toward conversion should include a plan on how the government can help subsidize the program.

“Otherwise, it will not progress,” she said.

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva has filed a resolution calling on the Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Department of the Interior and Local Government to review their plans in alleviating traffic congestion.

Villanueva pushed for the passage of Republic Act 11165 or the Work-from-Home Law to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.