MANILA, Philippines – In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25, President Rodrigo Duterte promised to intensify the campaign against colorum vehicles as a way to address the traffic problem in the Philippine capital region.
The tough-talking former mayor of Davao City emphasized that the anti-colorum drive will be done "immediately."
"Our anti-colorum campaign and out-of-line apprehension, including the removal of terminals, will be intensified. My God, it will be done. Immediately. Immediately," he said.
Under the new leadership of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Martin Delgra III, the agency tasked to regulate and issue franchises to public utility vehicles has vowed to weed out unregistered units plying the streets of Metro Manila.
In an effort to ease traffic jams, Duterte said the existing roads in the capital region should be maximized. Local government units should map out secondary routes and consult various stakeholders for their traffic management plans.
To quickly resolve the traffic problem, Duterte also addressed Congress, asking lawmakers to grant him emergency powers to speed up solutions for an "urgent situation."
"Kung gusto ninyo madalian, sagad na lahat. Nasa inyo na 'yan. If you give it, fine," he said.
The President also said he wants to revive the use of the Pasig River ferry as an alternative transportation mode, especially for passengers coming from the east side of Metro Manila heading to the cities of Mandaluyong, Pasig, Taguig, and Quezon City.
The Pasig River Ferry system however is already operational under the management of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. – Rappler.com