Press Release
August 25, 2016


Senator Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito yesterday batted for long-term solutions to the "hellish" traffic conditions in Metro Manila and other population centers in the Philippines.

In a privilege speech, Ejercito cited the need to prioritize transportation projects like railways that would efficiently move goods and people while occupying less space.

"I have been vocal in sharing my advocacy of upgrading the railways across the country, particularly of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) in the last five years," said Ejercito.

"Unfortunately, the same traffic and transport concerns that we had in 2010 when I was still a member of the House of Representatives remain unresolved up to this day, and the situation is much more aggravated," he added. "

Now, traffic costs us at least P3-Billion daily," lamented Ejercito who, as vice chairperson of the Senate Public Services Committee, Mr. President and dear colleagues, laid down recommendations on how to resolve the transportation crisis.

He said that one of the earliest measures he had filed is Senate Bill No. 154 which seeks to grant special powers to the President to address the transportation crisis.

The senator added he filed Senate Resolution No. 63 to probe air traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), while pushing for measures like the Philipine National Railways (PNR) Modernization Act and the Train Protection Act.

Ejercito said that his bill entitled "Transportation Crisis Act of 2016" seeks to reform the country's transportation sector in the long run through a comprehensive roadmap which shall reform national public transportation to ensure an efficient, sustainable, safe, clean and integrated air, land and sea transportation system.

"I believe there is no other way than the railway system that we could address the traffic congestion and hasten the movement of goods and shipments in Metro Manila to other areas," said Ejercito.

He cited Singapore's success with its own railway system which he said he wants to see replicated in the Philippines.

Ejercito pointed out the pressing need to rehabilitate the trains, upgrade the service and operations, fix other infrastructures and facilities such as elevators, escalators and washrooms; and to provide for additional wagons for the MRT, LRT, and PNR.

"The new administration also needs to give priority over major infrastructure projects such as the North-South Railway Project, and the Mindanao Railway Project," he said.

The senator said the projects he cited would boost economic development by lowering the cost of movement of goods and people, and by reducing the cost of living, not just in major cities, but also in the countryside.

Ejercito also called for alternative modes of public transportation such as expanding and developing the current operation of Metro ferries, and the use of a Bus Rapid Transit or BRT, which was first introduced in Bogota, Colombia.

According to studies, the BRT along EDSA could have as much as one million passengers in one whole day. This could be done if there are 96 BRTs traversing the highway, and having at least a 2-minute interval from each other.

"Our serious transport problems need serious solutions. It is high time that we seriously develop our mass public transportation system and address our weakness in public infrastructure," said Ejercito.

News Latest News Feed