Press Release
January 18, 2010


Mindful of the harmful effects of carbon emissions on human health and environment and the endless traffic problems in Metro Manila, Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the next leaders of the country to give priority to public transport system, particularly railways projects.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology and the Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), cited the environmental and social benefits of efficient urban public transport.

"Developing public transportation is one of the keys to increased traffic efficiency, less dependence on fossil fuels which can worsen global warming, employment generation and traffic decongestion", Angara said.

He added, "major countries like China, Japan, UAE and the United States are starting to invest heavily on public transit in order to address the problem of environmental degradation. In fact, Korea is strongly committed to reduce carbon emissions in the East Asian region.

Through its "Low Carbon Green Growth Program", the Republic of Korea is pushing to expand markets for environmentally friendly products and services by introducing policy measures such as green taxes, green public procurement and eco-labeling.

Citing a report by the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) that almost 150 million passengers traveled through its trains in 2009, setting a new record for the most number of passengers in a single year, Angara said the increasing number of train commuters proves that if public transport is efficient, accessible and affordable, people use it.

A total of 149.44 million passengers used the Baclaran-Monumento Line (Line 1) in 2009, surpassing the old record of 145.83 million passengers set in 1994.

They have attributed the increase in train ridership to "street-level congestion, volatile fuel prices, increasing environmental awareness, the fielding of more trains, continuously improving services, and affordable fare rates."

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