Daang mabilis! Mark Villar insists Duterte’s 5-minute Cubao-Makati ‘doable’
MANILA — A five-minute travel time from Cubao in Quezon City to Makati City is doable with the completion of several infrastructure projects in Metro Manila, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said Monday.
On the sidelines of the Pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Economic and Infrastructure Forum in Pasay City, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said that 250,000 to 300,000 vehicles were expected to leave Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) once the major projects were opened by the end of the year.
“When the President ran, he promised he would finish traffic in Edsa. In order for us to do that, we computed and we needed to take out 250,000 to 300,000 vehicles a day,” he said.
“To revert back to a level of traffic when we finished the Skyway Project it will reduce traffic by 100,000 vehicles. When the NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) Harbor Link connector is completed it will minimize 50,000 vehicles. When C-6 is finished we reduce another 50,000,” the DPWH chief added.
The completion of other bridges surrounding Edsa will lessen 50,000 vehicles.
“‘(The) Harbor Link, syempre malaki mababawas sa (of course, it will help lessen vehicles passing through) Edsa. Some projects directly affect Edsa. But overall, we expect that the President’s statements are backed by very solid projects,” the DPWH chief explained.
Earlier, Duterte said that travel between Cubao to Makati could be reduced to five minutes by end of the year. The current travel time is at least one hour.
The Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 is an 18.68-km elevated expressway from Buendia, Makati City to the North Luzon Expressway in Balintawak, Quezon City. The portion along President Quirino Avenue in Manila will open this year.
On the other hand, the 5.58-kilometer NLEX Harbor Link, Segment 10 connecting McArthur Highway and C-3 was inaugurated last February 28 and opened to traffic on March 1.
The C-5 South Link Expressway is a 7.7-kilometer expressway stretching from R-1 Expressway to SLEX/C5. Travel time will be reduced from 40 minutes to 10 minutes. Segment 3A1 — Merville to C5/SLEX is targeted to be opened on July 22.
Also, Villar reported they were able to build and lay the ground work for the 1,049 kilometers of new high-standard highways and expressways in Luzon, Cebu and Davao with a total investment cost of USD15 billion (PHP776 billion).
Under the Duterte administration, he added that 2,709 bridges were constructed, widened, upgraded, rehabilitated and strengthened.
Aside from Villar, another member of the Infrastructure Cluster, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president and CEO Vicencio Dizon reported on the progress of the New Clark City, which will be the country’s first smart and green city.
The New Clark City, located in Capas, Tarlac, and measuring 9,500 hectares will be a major alternative growth area out of Metro Manila.
“New Clark City will serve as a catalyst for national growth moving forward, with private sector partners investing in the development of commercial areas and industrial parks,” he said.
Other officials of the economic cluster who were present during the event were Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Persia, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Pena, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Tourism Undersecretary Art Boncato, and Budget and Management OIC-Secretary Janet Abuel.
Also present at the first of the three-part fora meant to report on the government’s accomplishments under the Duterte administration, ahead of the President’s SONA on July 22, 2019, were Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Information and Communications Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio.
The second forum to be held in Cebu City on July 10 will report on accomplishments related to the “Patuloy na Malasakit at Pagkakaisa” agenda (which is focused on human development).
The third discussion is scheduled to be held in Davao City on July 17,
will report on the accomplishments related to the “Patuloy na Katatagan” agenda (which is focused on security and disaster resiliency). (PNA)