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Transport crisis

An advocacy group representing mobility professionals urged the incoming administration to appoint transport officials “that have demonstrated genuine empathy and concern for prioritizing the basic transportation needs of Filipinos” after rumors of the potential reappointment of outgoing transport chief Arthur Tugade.

“We need leaders who will break the cycle of focusing on infrastructure projects intended to benefit only private vehicles while overlooking the needs of commuters, pedestrians and cyclists,” AltMobility PH said in a statement.

In recent days, Tugade’s Department of Transportation has been pounding the narrative that the DOTr “delivered” during its six years under President Rodrigo Duterte. Groups like AltMobility who dread more of him obviously believe otherwise, pointing to what they say is the worsened state of transportation in recent years.

The group also called for “a plan that will allow all Filipinos – regardless of age, gender and abilities – easy access to places of employment and basic services.”

“We call for policies that will allow for public transportation providers to focus on the quality of their service over profit; public transportation facilities where commuters can feel safe and comfortable; world class pedestrian infrastructure; and an extensive network of permanent, protected bike lanes,” the group added.

Although President Duterte famously promised to deal with the metro’s traffic problem within six months, those in the transport sector say the situation only worsened. Lack of time was eventually blamed for all the unfinished work.

The recent move to make employees return to workplaces has uncovered once more the unsolved prepandemic transport woes of the country, especially in Metro Manila. The administration of president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has to ensure that their transportation chief can do a better job than the current one.*

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November 2022
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