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Congested route

THERE’S another traffic jam, one of ideas as they’re aired in the Senate to hear what the Department of Transportation means by “emergency powers” to solve the problem of the decade.

First bad sign, suspension of the second round due to the inability of DoTr to produce a plan, not even a working title, let alone a draft bill. DoTr asked for two weeks. Let’s see.

Traffic has become so bad that writers and reporters cannot write or utter the word without prefixing it with “horrendous” or suffixing it with “gridlock.” Still we keep trying, no matter that by the time those powers expire, there will be half a million more vehicles on the road or something like it.

Each of several resource persons invited to the first hearing offered at least one solution; taken together they should make it possible for us to glide along EDSA, require no more than 20 minutes to take the kids to school, and live happily ever after in the new Utopia starting 2019. Highlights of the hearing conducted by Sen. Grace Poe’s committee on public services follow.

Gus Lagman, AAP: Subway is ultimate solution. Lawrence Cua, Uber: “More people into fewer cars – ride-sharing, carpooling, discourage buying cars.” Efren de Luna, ACTO: “We are scared of emergency powers” as an excuse to acquire property. (Translated by Sen. Franklin Drilon: “You mean real estate transactions.”) Eddie Yap, MAP: Unless we defer Buendia and Katipunan projects, we’ll be knocking ourselves on the head. Jun Magno, Stop and Go: You remove all colorum vehicles, what happens to passengers? Zenaida Maranan, Fejodap: Who will issue the (traffic violation) tickets? RILES rep: Government lacks focus on transport issues.

The senators reacted. Hontiveros: You need special powers to propose carpooling? Recto: Why not just review procurement law? Drilon: One BPO with 100,000 agents provides housing on 1000 ha, no one needs to commute or buy cars. Poe: Too many colorum UV Express units? Why are they still in business? (Jullie Y. Daza)