• Major changes in Metro Manila traffic situation will happen in 2 to 3 years
• Incoming DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the agency is set to ramp up infrastructure spending
• “Traffic problem in the country was a function of underspending on infrastructure,” Villar said
Mark Villar, the incoming Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary, said major changes in Metro Manila traffic situation will happen in the next two to three years.
“The directive is to hit the ground running. There would be major changes over the next two to three years. You will feel it, we will have some major infrastructure over the next three years,” Villar told reporters.
Although he did not give any guarantee that traffic congestion in the major arteries of Metro Manila would be totally eliminated within the six-year term of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte, he said big steps will be undertaken to resolve the traffic woes as his agency is set to ramp up spending on infrastructure.
As mentioned by Myla Iglesias in her article for Malaya, Villar said he is closely coordinating with incoming transport Secretary Arthur Tugade for a comprehensive plan to decongest Metro Manila.
Addressing disaster management, flood control, tourism and the efficient transportation of agricultural goods is part of the comprehensive plan, he said.
The DPWH, under Villar’s helm, will focus on rolling out projects whose feasibility studies have been completed, but were not implemented by the Aquino administration.
He cited the P3.03-billion Edsa-Taft flyover, which was put on hold in 2013; the planned construction of a bridge to cross Pasig River to connect the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig-Makati area and the Ortigas Center in Pasig City, flyover projects on Kalayaan and Katipunan and the road widening of C5.
Asked if the Duterte administration can solve the traffic problem in Metro Manila, Villar said, “It’s hard to quantify right now. We can take big steps towards solving it. I think we are planning to increase our infrastructure spending, with that somehow we can catch up.”
“Traffic problem in the country was a function of underspending on infrastructure,” he added.