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Poe: Traffic fatal to commuters’ health, economy

/ 12:49 PM August 25, 2016
Senator Grace Poe. PHOTO FROM SENATOR POE'S OFFICE

Senator Grace Poe. PHOTO FROM SENATOR POE’S OFFICE

Senator Grace Poe on Thursday emphasized the need to grant emergency powers to solve the traffic woes gripping Metro Manila and other urban areas as it also affects the health of commuters and the economy.

In her opening statement, Poe took a swipe at former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya who said that the traffic problem in the Metro is not fatal.

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“Hindi niya siguro naisip na may health expenses related to pollution ang traffic. Isipin na lang natin, ang kalbaryo ng commuter ay nagsisimula sa madaling araw, at minsan ay nagtatapos ng hating gabi. Kulang sa tulog, nalilipasan ng gutom, nagpipigil pumunta sa banyo, nasisinghot ang usok, nakatayo o nakaupo nang napakatagal sa byahe dahil sa trapik. Hindi man yan fatal, siguradong iikli naman ang buhay mo. Plus, it is also fatal to the economy,” Poe said.

READ: Poe: ‘Dehumanizing traffic situation’ hurts health, quality of life

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(Perhaps he hadn’t thought about that traffic causes health expenses related to pollution. Let consider the commuters’ woes which start at dawn and sometimes end at midnight. They lack sleep, haven’t eaten yet, couldn’t go to the restroom, smell smoke, standing or sitting for so long due to traffic. It may not be fatal, but your life would surely shorten because of it. Plus, it is also fatal to the economy.)

The senator headed the continuation of the public hearing on granting of emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte by inviting various leaders of transport and commuter groups, such as the National Center of Commuter Safety and Protection, Bicycle Friendly Philippines and the Stop and Go coalition.

READ: Poe to fast-track bill giving Duterte crisis powers to fix traffic

Poe emphasized that traffic plans do not materialize because of lack of consultation with stakeholders and commuters on the ground.

“Most often, transport plans fail, not because they are not good enough, but they suffer from the fatal handicap of not consulting people on the ground,” she said.

Some of the senators who attended the hearing included Senators Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros, Sherwin Gatchalian, Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao and Franklin Drilon. RAM/rga

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TAGS: emergency powers, former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Metro Manila, Senator Grace Poe, traffic woes
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