Cardinal Tagle urges gov’t to solve Metro’s traffic jams
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged government officials, on Wednesday, to address the worsening traffic in Metro Manila, saying the problem could be addressed through proper urban planning, vehicle regulation and proper road etiquette.
“We call on those responsible for urban planning, I hope that you make urban planning and putting order on the streets a priority so that people can be relieved of the everyday stress brought by being stuck in traffic,” Tagle said in an interview over the Church-run Radyo Veritas.
Tagle said it would also be good if authorities could establish new schemes in controlling the number of vehicles plying the streets. “Be realistic. I hope we implement a system of monitoring the number of vehicles plying a particular area. If a street can only accommodate 5,000 vehicles but there are 50,000 cars trying to force their way into the same area, how can the traffic flow?” he said.
The cardinal also urged the government to fix the public transport system and make it more convenient to commuters.
“If our public transport system, the LRT (Light Rail Transit), MRT (Metro Rail Transit), buses, are functioning properly, maybe even those who have their own vehicles will be encouraged to used these facilities knowing that our public transportation is efficient,” said Tagle, who himself was not spared from the traffic caused by the Edsa People Power anniversary festivities in February. He was about 10 minutes late for the Mass he presided over.
In recent months, traffic has been heavy not only in Edsa but also in other main thoroughfares in Metro Manila.
Aside from the heavy volume of vehicles, the numerous road construction projects and lack of an efficient mass transportation system are being blamed as the causes of traffic congestion.
Meanwhile, Tagle said the traffic problem in the country also reflected the Filipino attitude on the street.
“Ang ating traffic po ay larawan din ng ating mga ugali. Tayo ba ay mapagbigay? Tayo ba ay mainitin ang ulo? Tayo ay laging nag-uunahan? O tayo ay may kakayahan na magbigayan? (Our traffic shows our attitudes. Are we giving? Are we short on temper? Do we always race each other? Or do we have the capability to give way?)” said Tagle.
Last Sunday, retired Manila Archbishop Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales helped untangle a traffic gridlock in Batangas.
The 83-year-old prelate had just celebrated a Mass in Sto. Tomas, Batangas and was on his way back to St. Joseph Seniorate, a retirement home for priests in Lipa, Batangas, when he found himself stuck in the middle of a major traffic jam, not moving an inch in nearly 40 minutes.
Amidst the rain, Rosales put on a hooded navy blue jacket, zipped it all the way up to conceal his pectoral cross, got out of his car and walked to the front of the long line of cars.
Five vehicles were gridlocked at an intersection, causing a traffic build-up of an estimated 200 other vehicles.
Rosales said he approached the driver of one of the five vehicles and told him that 200 vehicles had been stuck in traffic because they were in the wrong way.
The prelate managed to make the five vehicles move and give way, opening up the intersection to enable traffic to flow. (Tina G. Santos, Philippine Daily Inquirer)
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