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Poor Epifanio


jullie yap daza - medium rare

I GOT a headache listening to the Senate hearing on traffic and how to undo those jams that make EDSA a daily nightmare. Which is unfair to EDSA – you’re in la-la-land if you think our traffic woes are confined to EDSA. Poor Mr. Epifanio de los Santos, to have his name dragged through the mud, asphalt, concrete, sand and grav­el even when there’s no rain, no flooding!

A 12-km route from QC to Manila cost me two hours one way and two hours 20 minutes to go home. Still, I told my lone passenger, aren’t we lucky, this car is airconditioned, the weather is unpredictably nice, we don’t have to fight to get a seat on the bus or MRT, what right do we have to complain?

The radio was on. That’s when the headache grew from incipient to not-going-away.

Senate President Sotto reminded his colleagues that “for the longest time, with no one or very few lis­tening, I’ve been saying the way to solve congestion on EDSA is to ban parking in Metro Manila.” Senator Zubiri, fresh from a trip to Singa­pore, suggested elevated walkways to encourage people to walk or bike and leave the streets to vehicles. A DOTR usec perked up at the sug­gestion: “Elevated walkways – we call them greenways – are less complicated” and cheaper to build. But he could not say when one will be built, even after Migz emphati­cally “committed” an initial outlay of R1 billion.

Senator Binay wanted to know why the Pasig ferry cannot serve more people, and why introduce another Pasig service and waste money on another feasibility study?

Male voices representing MMDA and DOTR spelled out the figures: 4,000 city buses ply EDSA under 130 operators – chaos, implied Senator Drilon; 97 terminals will be pruned to four (!); “there are no more colorum buses,” said a resource person, confounding me and Senator Sotto, who wondered how they disappeared, from 1,800 (according to a congressman).

Senator Poe warned against any “drastic measures” taken in haste. Senator Binay’s wish: a master plan.

If by a miracle we cut the Gord­ian knot tying up a logjam of ac­cumulated plans, then might it be time for an epiphany. Otherwise, to quote Migz, “Hanggang presenta­tion lang”?