Heavy traffic in Metro Manila is causing billions in annual financial loses. This fact is obvious and has been established in a previous study. The amount of collective financial loses is estimated at P140 Billion every year, and P100 Million every day for government and business executives [see Financial Loses from Metro Manila Traffic].
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In January 2013, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Metropolitan Development Authority (MMDA) announced that the 23.8-kilometer highway known as EDSA, which stands for Epifanio de los Santos Avenue and serves as the main traffic artery of Metro Manila, will undergo a major rehabilitation. EDSA is considered by MMDA as "one of the main corridors of Metro Manila [which] connects every Filipino and the world to tourism, recreation and commercialism, leads millions to world-class business centers and amenities and is the main artery that leads people from the south to the north and vice-versa."
The rehabilitation will cost around P3.7 Billion and will last for around 23 months. Some reports say that all lanes of EDSA will be closed for the rehabilitation project, while other reports say that only two lanes will be closed. Either way, the MMDA has been identifying alternate routes to absorb the 2.34 million people and 323,000 vehicles that pass through EDSA every day.
But not too fast. There's no doubt that the EDSA rehabilitation will benefit Metro Manila and the country in the long run. Motorists, including us, totally understand, and welcome, the planned rehabilitation. Let's consider, however, that traffic gridlock in EDSA exists on any ordinary day. There's an accompanying financial loss for each day of that traffic gridlock. Imagine the increase of traffic gridlock -- and the accompanying financial loses -- in the event that EDSA will be closed for the rehabilitation project.
President Benigno Aquino already issued a statement directing the government agencies concerned to suspend the rehabilitation of EDSA until a full, comprehensive study is done. We agree with the President. Let's have a comprehensive study on how best to rehabilitate EDSA. Should it cover only a lane or two? Should MMDA or the proper government agency first clear and widen other roads, or expedite the construction of new roads, before shutting down EDSA?
But that's our opinion. We conducted a poll which lasted for six days. 55.6% favors the suspension of the plan until a complete study is conducted; 27.8% says that rehabilitation must immediately start; while 16.7% says that only one lane should be closed during repairs. Express your views through the comment section below.
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