Press Release
August 25, 2016


Senator Grace Poe today chided the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on the filthy conditions of the different transport terminals, putting in peril the safety and health of thousands of daily commuters.

At the resumption of the hearing on proposals to grant emergency powers to the President in solving traffic woes, Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on public services, cited in particular the interim Southwest Integrated Transport Terminal located in Parañaque City, which did little or no help at all in alleviating the plight of commuters.

"Papasok ka sa trabaho, pagpasok mo sa trabaho, pagdating mo sa opisina, ang baho mo na at ang dumi na ng sapatos mo. Paano naman gaganahan ang ating mga kababayan na magtrabaho niyan? Yung banyo, malayo pa lang ay naaamoy na," Poe told MMDA officials led by its general manager Thomas Orbos. The MMDA is in charge for the upkeep of the Southwest Terminal.

Orbos committed to visit the terminal himself to address Poe's concerns and will update lawmakers on the action plan of the agency in the next hearing.

The government pays P1.2 million in monthly fees for the space rental of the Southwest Terminal, which Poe said is "utterly depressing" due to the inhumane conditions of its facilities. Poe took to task the MMDA to provide solutions to her firsthand observations about the terminal.

During her visit to the terminal last Tuesday, Poe noted that the terminal was filled with garbage, dark even in broad daylight, lacks enough space for buses to maneuver, and with unhygienic facilities. The walkway leading to the terminal was also littered with human waste.

Poe announced that she will invite local government officials for next week's hearing to know the impact on their constituencies of the emergency powers.

"We have to set a deadline and scope," emphasized Poe, as she noted that "traffic crisis affects all sectors and the economy."

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