PHILSTAR

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday night claimed that the traffic congestion along the capital region’s main thoroughfare has been solved, saying his government exhausted public funds to fix the issue.

Ang traffic ngayon sa EDSA maluwang na (The traffic flow along EDSA has eased). But early on sa (in my) administration ko, it was a crisis there,” he told SMNI Channel.

The President said grants from other countries were poured into improving the capital’s transport infrastructure.

He cited that travel time between Cubao and the international airport, a distance of about 15 kilometers, now takes just about 15 minutes.   

Infrastructure think-tank InfrawatchPH could not disagree more.

“We’d like to know which parallel universe the President is in, to say without blinking that EDSA traffic has been resolved,” InfrawatchPH convenor Terry L. Ridon said in a Facebook messenger chat.

“Even in the middle of the pandemic, rush hour traffic from Magallanes to Quezon City is still at least an hour’s pace,” he added.

Citing a 2014 report by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Metro Manila Development Authority has previously said the capital region’s heavy traffic jams cost the economy P3.5 billion daily in 2018.

The President, who admitted in 2019 that he failed to solve his campaign promise of addressing traffic woes in EDSA, should “stop deluding the public about the real accomplishments of his administration” in the last months of his presidency, Mr. Ridon said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza