De Lima: Efficient public transport key to urban, rural dev’t


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima asserted that the present and future administrations should provide genuine solutions to the transportation problem in the country to ensure urban and rural development.

De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, said reliable public transportation not only gives people easy access to basic services, but also supports local economies by connecting people with local businesses and job opportunities.

“Crisis or not, our government should ensure that people, both in rural and urban areas, have access to reliable, efficient and safe public transportation. Public transportation eases the pressure on the roads which allows for better movement of goods. It also encourages people to live outside high density areas while remaining employed in the cities,” she stressed.

Marami sa ating mga Pilipino ang walang sariling sasakyan, kulang ang panggastos para makapag-taxi o grab, at walang choice kundi araw-araw na makipagpatintero sa mga kapwa commuters at magtiyaga sa hirap ng biyahe. And our public transportation is not making life any easier for them,” she said.

De Lima further said that, “In the Metro, the commuting public are often forced to leave at ungodly hours to avoid traffic or rush hour, or fight their way just to ride a train or a jeepney. Meanwhile in some provinces, people don’t have access to public transport at all.

“Dahil walang masakyan, may mga ina, ama, guro at estudyante sa kanayunan ang kailangan munang maglakad ng kilo-kilometro, sa ilalim ng tirik na araw o kaya naman sa putikan kapag tag-ulan, marating lamang ang kanilang destinasyon,” De Lima added.

It may be recalled that, amid the pandemic, especially during heightened travel restrictions, the lack of options for mass transportation forced thousands of commuters to either walk to offices, hitch rides on the backs of trucks or other private vehicles, if not stranded along Metro Manila roads.

Last January, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) started the implementation of its “no vaccination, no ride” policy in Metro Manila’s public transportation to restrict the movement of unvaccinated individuals in response to the reported surge of COVID-19 cases.

A paper published by the Asian Development Bank, entitled “Philippines Transport Sector Assessment, Strategy and Road Map”, highlighted that “transport is a key sector in the Philippine economy, linking population and economic centers across the islands.”

The ADB paper noted that “[t]he Philippines has seen modest improvement in the quality of its transport services, but a large part of the road network remains in poor condition and intermodal integration is generally weak. Poor sector governance also impedes efficient operation of the sector”

De Lima said the government, especially the next administration, should never disregard the importance of improving public transport service in the country to fully recover from the devastating effect of the pandemic.

Kailangan po nating pagtuunan ng pansin, hindi lang ang mga apektado na ng sakit, kundi pati na ang mga kababayan nating araw-araw pa ring dumadanas ng kalbaryo dahil sa kawalan ng maayos na pampabulikong transportasyon sa bansa,” she said. (30)

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619

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