Filipinos entitled to safe, convenient, reliable, affordable commute with dignity: Kiko

July 28, 2019


Filipinos entitled to safe, convenient, reliable, affordable commute with dignity: Kiko

MANILA — Evie dela Cruz, mother of five, feels like an overseas Filipino worker as her four-hour daily commute to and from her workplace in Makati and her home in Quezon City causes her to barely see and engage with her kids. This is apart from the everyday habulan with jeepneys and buses she suffers.

If passed into law, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan’s Magna Carta for Dignified Commuting will try to ensure that dela Cruz and the millions of commuters nationwide are entitled to a public transport system that is safe, convenient, reliable, and affordable commute with dignity.

In collaboration with transport advocacy group AltMobility PH, Pangilinan has filed Senate Bill 775.

“Dusa talaga ang mga kababayan nating nagco-commute, kaya minabuti nating makipag-ugnayan sa AltMobility para maisulong ang mga karapatan ng mga sumasakay ng de-padyak, tricycle, dyip, bus, tren, at kung anu-ano pang pampublikong sasakyan (Because our commuters truly suffer, we engaged with AltMobility to push for the rights of those who take pedicabs, tricycles, jeepneys, buses, trains, and other public transport vehicles),” said Pangilinan.

“Hindi natin masusulusyunan ang isyu ng trapik kung hindi maririnig ang boses ng pinakamalaking sektor na gumagamit ng kalye (We will not be able to solve the traffic problem if the voice of the biggest sector of road users are not heard),” he added.

In the bill’s explanatory note, Pangilinan noted that commuters who travel using public transportation services and active transport comprise 70% of the total trips in Metro Manila, but are only given 20% of road space.

The remaining 80% of road space are occupied by private vehicles, comprising only 30% of the total trips. Persons-with-disabilities and the elderly are also rarely considered in road infrastructure, he added.

Pangilinan also cited Japan International Cooperation Agency’s study saying that traffic congestion in Metro Manila and surrounding areas cost at least P3.5 billion every day.

Metro Manila commuters and motorists spend an average of 66 minutes stuck in traffic, making Manila’s traffic the third worst in Southeast Asia, according to a 2017 study done by Boston Consulting Group.

Senate Bill 775 seeks to recognize, guarantee, and enforce the right of each person, especially of commuters who rely on public transportation services and active transport in their daily lives. It also seeks a shift to a more sustainable transportation policy that provides safe access and mobility to all, promote economic development, preserve the environment, and ultimately uplift the lives of all commuters.

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