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Top Gear Philippines

Presidential candidates

We have two weeks left until we head for the polls to elect a new President. As concerned motorists, we're hoping that the new head of state will be someone who has the capability and know-how to face the country's horrible traffic situation--an issue which presidential hopefuls tackled during last night's ABS-CBN-organized debate at the University of Pangasinan.

Halfway through the program's second segment, the organizers played a video highlighting our traffic problems through the eyes of a concerned commuter named Aling Perla. It ended with this question: "As candidates, what solution can you give us to address the worsening traffic not just on EDSA and in Manila, but in the whole Philippines as well?”

As we've written before, we are not endorsing any of the five presidentiables. But to give our readers a clearer idea of what the candidates plan to do to improve our motoring lives, we've compiled their replies to the above-mentioned question.

Read the answers (in italics), and then take our poll at the bottom.

MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO

First, we have to build a new railway system connecting Manila to the interconnected provinces like Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna. Secondly, we have to have an entirely new railway system connecting Manila to Sorsogon. Thirdly, we have to have a new modern airport because we have been classed as one of the worst airports in the world.

Finally, the president must appeal very strongly for discipline among drivers both public and private. And then he should lean on the LTO to make sure that those who get licenses are qualified persons because you can buy a license any time.

So there are ways of solving the traffic problem, and there is no need to despair. Help should be coming, but I know where the funds or who are to fund these projects except that I might go overtime.

Number one, if we build infrastructure. Number two, if our manufacturing is robust. And number three, if our agriculture is modern.

RODRIGO DUTERTE

There is no silver bullet and magic to solve the traffic problem now. And the six years that's given to the President, maybe I would take about a year or two to improve. One MRT, LRT...and build another as suggested by...mangopya ako kay Madam Santiago. We have to build new railways, the fastest and where, maybe along Pasig River, kasi hindi ka na magbibili ng road for right of way. But just the same, I have to improve the present situation.

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So I will ask LRT and MRT to add more trains, and it should be like every 10 or five minutes na mayroong train, so that we can hold people and also limit, I said, the streets to the motor vehicles. We are pumping in 300,000-plus motor vehicles every month.

E yan, papasok lahat yan sa ating highway, sa ating EDSA. Saan natin ilagay yan? And we cannot stop them except that we have to improve the mass transit of people, then try to explain that one by one those dilapidated and earlier models must be out of EDSA. That's the only solution that can [happen]. Nothing else would really solve the problem. That's the reality on the ground.

GRACE POE

Marami po tayong pwedeng gawin. Hindi ganun kadali pero umpisahan natin sa road clearing at widening. Kailangan may disiplina. Hindi po personal parking lot ng ating mga kababayan ang mga kalsada. Umpisahan dun, i-enforce yung batas. Pangalawa, yung mga naumpisahan ng proyekto, katulad ng South Luzon Skyway at tsaka yung North Luzon Connector Road, dapat tapusin na yun.

Yung ating MRT 7 na nag-break ground na, dapat yung kanilang proposed delivery na 2018, tutukan para yung mga kababayan natin mula Trinoma hanggang San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, ay makabyahe. Yung LRT extension na matagal nang pinangako hanggang Cavite, dapat magawa na yan. Yan po yung nakikita natin sa ngayon.

Ngayon, ang long-term, huwag dapat maikli lamang ang plano natin. Isipin natin sa pangmatagalan. Alam mo, posible magkaroon ng subway system para mas mabilis ang byahe. Sabi nila binabaha dito, pero yung subway sa ibang bansa, sa ilalim ng karagatan dumadaan, kaya puwede dito.

Pangalawa, yung Philippine National Railway, noong panahon pa ng 1800s nakakarating na yan sa Dagupan, bakit hindi ngayon? Limang taon lang from Manila to Dagupan, natapos na nila, tayo hanggang ngayon wala pa.

Tapos, ako’y mag-aappoint ng isang secretary na traffic terminator. Wala siyang gagawin kundi babantayan ang bawat proyekto na matapos, right of way, dapat mabilis na maibigay para hindi nakababad.

MAR ROXAS

Nauunawaan ko yung kalbaryo na dinadaan mo, at ito naman talaga ang tinututukan natin. Hetong katotohanan: Yung mga ipinapangako pa lang ng ating mga katunggali ay ginagawa na. Halimbawa, sa MRT, pinangako nila na dadagdagan nila yung mga bagon; sa ngayon, may programa po tayo. Bawat buwan po, labingdalawang bagong bagon ang dumadating dito at isinasama sa current na system. By the end of one year, 144 ang madadagdag na bagon. Yung mga rail car diyan sa MRT 7 na yan.

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Yung MRT...sa MRT 3 na yan. Yung sa MRT 7 nag-ground-breaking na. Meron tayong financial close, merong awarding, at ginagawa na. Nasimulan na at merong deadline kung kelan matatapos ito.

Yung extension, LRT 2 hanggang doon sa Antipolo, sa Masinag, ginagawa na rin po yun at matatapos yun by 2017. Yung sinabi kanina na extension ng LRT 1 patungo hanggang sa Bacoor, dadalhin natin yan sa Dasmariñas at hanggang sa Calamba. Yan yung fast rail na gagawin natin tuloy-tuloy. Naka-bid-out na yan. Na-bid-out na yan hanggang sa Bacoor. At yan naman po yung Phase 2 patungo sa Calamba. Ginagawa na po lahat yan.

Pero ang mas importante, yung pag-overhaul ng mga prangkisa. Iisang bus, ibi-bid out natin ito para hindi nag-aagawan ang mga bus sa mga pasahero at ino-occupy nila ang napakaraming mga lanes. Yan ang mga konkretong solusyon na gagawin natin.

JEJOMAR BINAY

Alam po ninyo, yang mga plano, ga-bundok ho ang planong programa sa pagharap sa problema ng traffic. E ganun pa rin ho ang problema. Bakit ho? E kasi, yun hong pagpapatupad hindi nangyayari. Kaya nga yung mga plano-plano, sayang lang yan kung walang karanasan ang magpapatupad at walang kakayahang magpatupad. Ibig ko pong sabihin, e ilalagay ko po diyan ang isang competent, may kakayahang mamuno diyan sa problema ng trapiko. Katunayan, balak ko ho na paghatiin yung DOTC. Yun hong magkakaroon po ng Department of Transportation at meron po namang Department of Communication.

Pangatlo, alam po ninyo, naging gobernador po ako ng Metro Manila. Namuno po ako sa Metro Manila Development Authority. E ang giya po sa pagharap sa problema ng traffic, tatlo po yan: education, enforcement, engineering.

Yun pong engineering, ang dami na hong plano niyan, magagandang plano. Yung iba nga ho ay nabanggit dito. Hindi naman ho mababago yan. Kaya lang hindi ho natutupad, hindi ho nangyayari. E yung mga dapat magpatupag, mali-mali naman at palpak ang pagkakapatupad.

Photo from the ABS-CBN News Facebook page

 

Which presidential candidate has the best chance of solving our traffic crisis?

Jejomar Binay

Miriam Defensor-Santiago

Rodrigo Duterte

Grace Poe

Mar Roxas

None of the above

Drei Laurel
Online Editorial Assistant
Drei's passion for driving began not behind the wheel of a car, but in front of a keyboard and computer screen, playing 'Need For Speed' for hours on end with his twin brother.
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