A top official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is not giving up on fulfilling President Duterte’s promise to cut travel time from Cubao, Quezon City to Makati to five minutes.
During a Malacañang press briefing, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said that motorists can still expect the fulfillment of Duterte’s promise to ease traffic congestion along EDSA as two major infrastructure projects are expected to open this year.
Villar said that from one and a half hours, travel time from Makati to Balintawak will be reduced to 15 to 20 minutes once the Skyway Stage 3 is complete.
“We’re targeting to open this by April of this year. 100,000 cars will be relieved from EDSA,” Villar said.
The San Miguel Corp. project stretches from Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati and traverses through San Juan, Manila and Quezon City all the way to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
According to SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang, the opening of the Skyway Stage 3 aims to eliminate choke points and to give motorists a seamless connection from north to south and vice-versa.
Villar also said that they are targeting to open the NLEX Harbor Link extension by March 2020, saying that its completion would relieve EDSA by almost 30,000 vehicles a day, most of which are trucks.
“So in the first half of this year, we’ll reduce traffic on EDSA by 20 to 30 percent,” Villar said.
The DPWH official said that EDSA’s carrying capacity is around 280,000 cars but around 400,000 vehicles use Metro Manila’s most busiest highway every day.
“Based on our projections, we would be able to relieve EDSA at least 120,000 cars, bringing it back to its original capacity,” Villar said.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency earlier said that the worsening traffic congestion in Metro Manila is costing the country P3.5 billion in missed economic opportunities every day.
In a report by The STAR, JICA Chief Representative to the Philippines Susumu Ito said economic loss attributed to traffic congestion as of 2017 has risen dramatically from the estimate of P2.4 billion in 2014 when the roadmap was created with the assistance of the National Economic and Development Authority.