President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the local government units of Metro Manila, Cebu and other regional centers across the country to clear roads of illegally parked vehicles and other traffic obstructions to ensure the free flow of traffic.
In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), the President said that it is important to rid the streets of obstructions in order to facilitate the implementation of vital transportation projects that would improve the traffic situation in the country.
“We shall complete strategic road and bridge projects and some of the road sections will be widened to address the worsening traffic,” Duterte said.
“All these strategic road transport projects shall go for naught if we will not be able to rid the streets of illegally parked vehicles, traffic obstructions and undisciplined drivers who stop in the middle of the road and unsanctioned barriers in some areas,” he added.
The President also said that China has provided funding for the construction of two bridges crossing the Pasig River.
The two bridges to be built will be the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge and the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, which will be located near the Guadalupe Bridge.
The government will also launch 15 new roll-on roll-off (RORO) vessels to ply major sea routes across the country
The ports of Iloilo, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga will also be modernized to address the congestion in seaports.
Last April, Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo launched the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) RORO shipping route connecting the ports of Davao and General Santos to Bitung, Indonesia.
The Duterte administration also intends to build new airports through seeking financial assistance from China and accelerate the implementation of communications, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management system project resulting to on time arrivals and departures, better air traffic management, reduction on flight operational costs and ensuring safer travel experience.
“We will make the next few years a Golden Age of Infrastructure in the Philippines to enhance our mobility and connectivity and thereby spur development and equitable growth in the country through Build, Build and Build,” the President said.
Through the Build, Build, Build program, the government aims to allocate PHP 8 to 9 trillion to increase infrastructure spending to 7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) from the current 5 percent within the term of President Duterte.