Alan Cayetano, Duterte know what to do with traffic
They may differ in their approach to certain issues, but presidential contender Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and his running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, see a common solution to Metro Manila’s worsening traffic problem: a decentralized city and the transfer of government headquarters to outlying areas of the capital.
“For the longest time, the drive for development [has been] mainly focused on the National Capital Region (NCR), leaving other regions to fend for themselves. This is not sustainable nor equitable,” Cayetano told Inquirer reporters and editors during a recent visit to the newspaper’s Makati City office.
“The NCR is perceived by many as the only place where there are real economic opportunities, [so] people unnecessarily flock to the region, creating problems such as traffic, unemployment and housing woes,” the senator said.
“But if development [is] spread evenly to the regions, we can solve these problems,” he added.
Such problems have led to the clamor for Duterte to run for President, Cayetano said.
“The mayor not only symbolizes order; he also stands for the empowerment of regions, which have long been neglected by the national government,” he explained.
P1 billion per region
Cayetano said he had proposed to government the allocation of P1 billion per region to be used as capital for a lending scheme that would help local and small entrepreneurs, and in turn, spur economic activity and growth in the other regions of the country.
“We need to create alternative corridors of development outside the NCR,” he said, adding that this will not only decongest the already overcrowded capital, but will also extend growth to the rest of the country.”
Cayetano said he decided to pursue Duterte as his standard-bearer because of their shared vision of a decentralized and progressive government. The mayor’s strong brand of leadership was the change people need, the senator added.
“Most of our people long for change. Life is not comfortable for most Filipinos; it is miserable for many … . If the problems are being solved, you don’t need a Duterte,” the senator said.
But the vice presidential candidate admitted that among the many challenges faced by their tandem was Duterte’s tough-talking stance that had him hurling invectives even at Pope Francis in his recent speech. The incident unleashed a flood of negative comments from netizens.
Duterte has since apologized for cursing Pope Francis for causing the traffic gridlock.
“How to make him more amiable,” may be a problem for Duterte, but Cayetano said the problem of other presidential candidates was how to tell people how they can really make a difference.
He and the mayor complement each other, the senator said, because of their different approach to issues. As a lawyer, he said, he will provide the legal framework for the tough-talking mayor.
“He will be the fighter in the ring, and I will be the fighter in court,” Cayetano said.
They also share similar advocacies, the senator said, among them increasing the salaries of ordinary workers and reforming the country’s tax system.
Being both lawyers, Cayetano said, he and Duterte had found a possible legal amendment to the law that would end contractualization and ensure that contractual employees would receive benefits due them. TVJ
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