Press Release
September 14, 2016


Senator Grace Poe today said the marginalized sectors of society who are mostly users of public transportation should benefit from the proposed transport solutions being eyed by the government.

Speaking before the United Kingdom (UK) Transport Solutions seminar held at the Discovery Suites in Mandaluyong City, Poe stressed that traffic woes give commuters a daily dosage of indignity and torment, loss of time for family and impact on health, on top of massive economic cost.

"Our national transportation development strategy should be anchored on a vision of promoting inclusive mobility. It should ensure safe, comfortable and accessible transport for all Filipinos especially the poor, elderly, persons with disability, residents in far-flung areas and other marginalized sectors," Poe said at the event organized by the British Embassy in Manila.

Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services currently leading deliberations on the proposed emergency powers sought by the Duterte administration to address the transportation crisis, made an unannounced visit last August 23 to the deteriorating conditions of the Southwest Integrated Provincial Terminal in Parañaque City and took to task the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to introduce some improvements in the terminal.

MMDA's General Manager and Officer-in-Charge Thomas Orbos was quick to act on Poe's observations, which the senator immediately recognized, as part of efforts to alleviate the suffering of the commuting public.

"To facilitate and enable our growing economy, we need to develop an integrated multi-modal transportation system, where various forms of land, air and water transportation complement one another. The use of all three modes of transport is quite important in an archipelagic state," added Poe.

With about 80 percent of roads occupied by private vehicles and only 20 percent devoted to public transportation, Poe stressed the ultimate objective in crafting effective public transportation is not to move cars but to move people, goods and services efficiently.

Research from the Japan International Cooperation Agency showed that the economic cost of traffic congestion was at P2.4 billion a day in 2014, and has increased to P3 billion pesos per day.

Similarly, Poe said the government should take advantage of technological innovations and use data smartly to improve transportation governance.

The Senate committee on public services will resume its hearing on emergency powers on September 22, while conducting technical working groups with stakeholders.

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