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Traffic caused by infra a ‘temporary sacrifice’

By: Jessa Mae O. Sotto, Morexette Erram April 04,2018 - 10:59 PM

Dondi Joseph, Cebu Business Club president, shows a Cebu Daily News banner story on Metro Cebu’s worsening traffic congestion during the 888 News Forum at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel.

Despite the inconvenience and losses caused by ongoing infrastructure projects in Metro Cebu, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said this is only “temporary” and that they are “necessary” to improve traffic flow in the long term.

“It just needs a lot of patience for the part of the public. If the roads are dilapidated, we keep complaining because they’ve been neglected. If we repair them, we complain of traffic,” he said.

Davide called on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and their contractors to expedite completion of the projects to reduce the inconvenience on the riding public.

The governor said this in response to an ongoing study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that projected daily losses caused by Metro Cebu traffic congestion at P1 billion.

“P1 billion a day is a huge loss for Metro Cebu. (But) road projects are necessary improvements. Afterwards, when these are completed, everything will return to normal. This is only temporary,” Davide said.

But opposition Cebu City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia said big-ticket road projects like the P638 million underpass tunnel on Natalio Bacalso Ave. are just band-aid solutions on the growing traffic problems in Metro Cebu.

“These are really not long-term solutions. You’re just transferring traffic from one road to another. We have to increase the capacity of roads instead,” Garcia said.

He said local officials should also heed the recommendations from organizations like Mega Cebu and JICA “who have a better perspective” to solve the traffic congestion.

“Urban planning – let’s not leave that to the politicians alone. Because if there is no proper urban planning, there’s traffic. There must be a masterplan that should be followed. They have to rethink their plans and coordinate,” Garcia said.

The councilor said he isn’t surprised by the substantial loss of income wasted due to the traffic congestion caused by the projects.
“I’ve heard the situation is worse in Metro Manila,” Garcia said.

The JICA study cited the possibility that economic losses will be substantially higher once its findings are completed by the end of the year.

Among the recommendations cited by Jica was a roadmap study on Mitigation Measures for Traffic Bottlenecks and “less capital-intensive” projects to address congestion along 20 intersections within Metro Cebu.

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TAGS: caused, Infra, sacrifice, temporary, traffic

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