�� Ejercito bats for rail based solutions to urban traffic woes

Ejercito bats for rail-based solutions to urban traffic woes

/ 12:18 PM May 20, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Deputy Majority Leader Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito is advocating for rail-based solutions as the key to resolving the Philippines’ escalating urban traffic woes.

As chair of the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing, and Urban Development, Ejercito has been vocal about the urgent need to develop the country’s mass transit system to alleviate the worsening congestion on the roads of major metropolitan areas.

Ejercito, in a recent radio interview, highlighted troubling statistics, noting that “an estimated 300,000 additional vehicles enter our roads each year.” This means that within three years, there will be “an additional one million new vehicles vying for limited road space,” exacerbating traffic woes.

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The senator expressed concern that the country’s transportation infrastructure has been lagging behind its Asean neighbors.

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“Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand are 30 years ahead of us,” he said. This, he stressed, is a strong indicator of the need for modernization, particularly through rail-based solutions.

READ: Ejercito wants railway projects fast-tracked as NCR traffic gets worse

Ejercito emphasized the significance of projects like the North South Commuter Railway (NSCR) and the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) in addressing these issues.

North South Commuter Railway, Metro Manila Subway

The NSCR is a 147-kilometer railway system that will link Calamba City in the south to New Clark City in the north, traversing several Metro Manila stations via the existing Philippine National Railways (PNR) line. This project includes an Airport Express service featuring high-speed trains to New Clark International Airport. Funded by the Japan International Cooperation Program (JICA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), construction on the NSCR has begun in Metro Manila, following the suspension of PNR train operations from Valenzuela to Alabang.

The MMSP, on the other hand, is an underground railway system stretching from Parañaque in the south to Valenzuela in the north, with a spur line extending to Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. This project aims to provide a modern, efficient alternative to road travel, significantly reducing travel time across Metro Manila.

READ: Ejercito pushes for creation of PH comprehensive infra master plan

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Ejercito said these rail-based solutions are expected to stimulate economic growth by creating jobs and improving the transport of farm products. He envisaged the NSCR and MMSP as pivotal in spreading development to rural areas and fostering economic growth beyond Metro Manila and other major urban centers.

Protecting the budget for these projects is crucial, Ejercito noted, as they often face cuts during the legislative process.

“We must keep pushing for this solution if we are to catch up with the rest of the Asean and untangle the daily gridlock in our urban centers,” he said.

To further this cause, Ejercito has introduced Senate Bill 158, which aims to establish a Comprehensive Infrastructure Development Master Plan. This legislative framework would ensure the continuity of high-quality, integrated infrastructure projects despite changes in administration.

“A master plan will harmonize the government’s competing infrastructure priorities and guarantee that major programs continue seamlessly,” Ejercito explained.

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This article was generated with the aid of artificial intelligence and reviewed by an editor.

TAGS: AI Generated Content, JV Ejercito, Railways

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