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Manila – centric

by Jullie Y. Daza

The last time President Duterte gave an order to DOTr Usec and MMDA GM Tim Orbos, it was, “Speed things up, kawawa ang mga tao.” Pity the people who lose six hours of their 24 – but who’s counting the hours lost during that all-day all-night gridlock on EDSA last Saturday?

Can you blame Mr. Davao for not feeling at home here?

But now Tim Orbos is telling us – this was before last Saturday – that “things are moving” and those Build Build Build projects are on track (even without a decent rail in sight).

And if we can make traffic flow for strangers from ASEAN, why not for ourselves every single blessed day? MMDA’s nose-in nose-out at bus terminals was an unexpected achievement before ASEAN. The “Trapiko, Trapik Mo” slogan was a hit long before the ASEAN holidays. While MMDA has been towing illegally parked vehicles, as unsuccessfully as Sisyphus rolling his stone up the mountain, barangay leaders continue to look the other way, defying MMDA, reason, and the common good.

Obstructions on streets and sidewalks cause 50 percent of traffic jams, according to Tito Sotto. Art Tugade’s trying to start a trend by moving DOTr to Clark. Tim wonders: “Why are we so Manila-centric?”

He should ask why no one in Congress has a plan to structure a modern metropolis north or south of the old capital. What, only Greggy Araneta is interested in developing Caloocan?

Metro Manila: Does it have a future if that future is uninhabitable? Tim promises elevated walkways branching out from EDSA. He entertains wishful thoughts of ejecting LTO and Let Them Fry, Roast, and Burn (LTFRB) out of prime land.

One of these days someone should whisper in Digong’s ear: Malacañang doesn’t enjoy good feng shui if that maze of streets can so cheekily shelter a den of iniquity for a drug queen, her daughter, and the family business.