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Metro Manila Council Discusses Ways to Address Traffic Problems

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Metro Manila Council (MMC) discussed immediate actions on how to address perennial traffic problems in the metropolis in line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In the meeting held last Thursday, July 25, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III asked the Metro Manila mayors to have an inventory of all public roads in their jurisdiction.

“The inventory of road network can be audited so that we can identify which road network has problem of congestion because of sidewalks and streets being occupied by illegal structures or illegal occupants,” said Densing.

Densing also asked the mayors to direct their city council to start reviewing traffic management ordinances with provisions that allow structures on the sidewalks and amend them prohibiting the existence of the structures of those structures in the streets and sidewalks.

In attendance were Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko’ Moreno Domagoso; Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte; Pasig City Mayor Ma. Victor ‘Vico’ Sotto; Navotas City Mayor Tobias ‘Toby’ Tiangco; Pasay City Mayor Imelda ‘Emi’ G. Calixto-Rubiano; San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora; Muntinlupa City Jaime Fresnedi; Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay; Mandaluyong City Mayor Carmelita ‘Menchie’ Abalos; Marikina City Mayor Marcelino ‘Marcy’ Teodoro; Malabon City Mayor Antolin ‘Lenlen’ Oreta III; Caloocan City Mayor Oscar ‘Oca’ Malapitan; Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez; Las Piñas City Mayor Imelda Aguilar, and Pateros Mayor Miguel Ponce III.

Densing said Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año is set to issue a memorandum circular to local chief executives that will be used as the basis of compliance to Duterte’s directives orders during the last State of the Nation Address.

“Secretary Año wants a deadline of 60 days from date of issuance (of the memorandum circular),” said Densing.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, who presided the meeting, asked the mayors to start with the national roads, Mabuhay lanes, and identified roads that serve as alternative routes.

“For the identified routes, no parking and illegal structures must be allowed then we can deal with the side streets later,” said Lim.

For their reference, Lim gave a copy of the 17 Mabuhay Lane routes to Metro Manila mayors.

Lim also floated the idea of converting open spaces into parking areas for motorists who do not have a space to park their vehicles.

The mayors said they have started the clearing of major thoroughfares in their localities. In line with Duterte’s directive, Zamora cited effective as of July 27, no parking is allowed on roads within the Greenhills area.

General Manager Jojo Garcia said all public roads must be free from obstructions.

“We have agreed that all Mabuhay lanes and national roads must be reclaimed and be accessible to the public,” said Garcia.

Duterte, in his fourth State of the Nation Address last July 24, reiterated his request to the MMDA and all concerned local officials and all concerned local officials in Metro Manila and other cities to undertake immediate actions to ensure the speedy and smooth flow of land traffic.

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