Translating Duterte: 5-minute Cubao-Makati drive not literal, says MMDA head
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to bring a five-minute travel between Cubao and Makati to motorists by December should not be taken literally because it just meant a marked improvement in easing the notorious gridlock that has defined Edsa, according to the head of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
“What the President meant in the 5-minute travel time was come December, there will be an improvement in the traffic situation as some of the infrastructure projects will be finished by December which will help ease traffic in Edsa,” said MMDA Chair Danilo Lim, a former Scout Ranger general, said in Filipino, falling short of calling Duterte’s statement hyperbole.
“The literal five minutes didn’t mean like that,” he said.
Another high-ranking MMDA official, General Manager Jojo Garcia, said while zooming along Edsa to reach Makati from Cubao or vice versa could be “doable” but “debatable.”
Garcia said a motorist would have to drive at 60 kph from P. Tuazon Boulevard in Cubao to Guadalupe in Makati, a distance of 5.2 kilometers, to achieve the five-minute mark, noting that 60 kph is “within our speed limit but is it feasible?” “Then that’s debatable,” he added.
He said doing five-minutes from Cubao to Makati could be possible during the early hours but not during rush hour.
At least 400,000 private vehicles and 8,000 buses use Edsa daily, Garcia said.
The MMDA’s High Occupancy Vehicle proposal, which would ban vehicles without two or more occupants at certain hours on Edsa, has been stopped by a Senate resolution while its ban on provincial buses was stopped by a court order./TSB
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