President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to help Cebu secure a loan to build a reliable mass transport that will ease traffic woes in the province, suggesting the creation of elevated highways or a train system.
In his speech during the Sinulog Festival on Sunday, the President said the province should resolve its worsening traffic condition as a “progressive” city.
“The only problem here is your transportation. Mobility is difficult because of how old the city is...So find a way to fix that. You should follow Manila...If you will make it a mass transportation, that would be better,” the President said.
“Only few will be able to do that. But it’s either train or skyways. Let’s opt for elevated highways,” he added.
President Duterte also expressed frustration over quarrelling politicians who hamper the construction of infrastructure projects, noting he has to interfere to come up with a remedy.
Duterte vowed to look for sources of funding for the transport project. However, he said that he does not want projects that cannot be completed before his term ends in 2022.
“So there will be a time that we would be talking about how to improve it. I’ll be back. But I will help you find the sourcing for that,” he said.
The President also explained to Cebuanos why he gave up implementing measures to solve the daily nightmarish traffic in EDSA, Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare.
Duterte has repeatedly expressed his disinterest on improving the situation in EDSA and said he would just let it “rot,” apparently fed up after Senator Grace Poe, who chairs the ways and means committee, blocked his request for emergency powers due to fear of corruption and abuse of power.
“And if they gave me emergency powers now, even if there’s no corruption involved, the project in EDSA will not be completed in the two years left in my term,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo was later challenged by critics to take public transportation after saying that Filipinos should wake up early to arrive at their destinations on time.