DPWH chief bares traffic decongestion plan

PAMPANGA. Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar and Taguig Representative Allan Peter Cayetano exchange views and opinions during Tuesday's Forum dubbed "Vision Into Reality," the Duterte Administration's Economic and Legislative Agenda, held at Quest Hotel, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. (Chris Navarro)

DEPARTMENT of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar said one of the agency's priorities is to work on vehicular traffic congestion problem all over the country.

During a forum dubbed "Vision Into Reality" in Clark Freeport Tuesday, June 18, Villar said the DPWH is developing national roads networks, by-passes, diversion roads, expressways, and other projects that focus on traffic decongestion.

He said P3.5 million is lost every day because of traffic and there is a need to invest in traffic decongestion.

"That is one of our priorities and that is part of the DPWH priority programs," Villar said.

He also bared President Rodrigo Duterte's big ticket infrastructure programs to connect the country's islands.

"As you know, our primary mandate is national roads. But of course, we acknowledge that there are local roads that serve as national roads. So we created a convergence program, this is in coordination with relevant agencies like the Department of Transportation, airports, agriculture, Department of National Defense, DTI, Department of Tourism and others," Villar said.

Aside from these, the DPWH is also investing in disaster-mitigation projects, he said.

"Being one of the most susceptible to natural calamities, we are investing heavily on flood-mitigation projects, high-speed upgrading of bridges, construction of evacuation centers and others," Villar said.

He added that the cost of calamities is tremendous, that is why the department spends around 25 percent of its budget to projects that mitigate the effects of calamities.

Villar said DPWH also spends for pedestrian infrastructure, including bicycle lanes.

"Not all people have cars. We also invest in lifestyle, people and pedestrian. One of the examples is Laguna Lake Highway that is the first major highway interbuilt with bike lane. You can see the bike lanes completely protected," he added.


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