JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima has backed a bill creating a body that will address the traffic problem in Cebu's urban areas.
De Lima said she told the House committee on government enterprises and privatization in a position paper that she has no constitutional or legal objection to House Bill 5556.
“We find the proposed bill very timely and responsive to the current traffic condition within the metropolitan area of Cebu City and the Province of Cebu," she said in a statement on Monday.
Authored by Representative Gabriel Luis Quisumbing (Cebu Province, sixth district), the proposed measure seeks to create the Metro Cebu Traffic Management Authority (MCTMA), a central body to be tasked with the formulation and implementation of an efficient traffic system in Cebu.
De Lima proposed the inclusion of Cebu City in the enumeration of cities and municipalities composing Metro Cebu.
Quisumbing's bill only mentioned the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Danao, Talisay, Naga and Carcar and the municipalities of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela, Cordova, Minglanilla and San Fernando as part of Metro Cebu.
She also suggested the addition of a provision in the draft bill for the installation of a single ticketing system and the legal authority of MCTMA over its implementation.
De Lima recommended the inclusion of a provision expressly lodging certain powers and functions of the chairman and general manager of the proposed MCTMA.
In pushing for the bill, Quisumbing said Cebu's population is expected to hit 4.6 million this year and the province will also play host to major international events such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.
Roadworks are also being undertaken to improve the flow of traffic during the Apec meetings from late August to October.
“Considering the increase in population and businesses in Metro Cebu, there is an urgent need to address the traffic problem. It is apparent that the solution cannot be piece-meal, or else, other areas will bear the brunt of the traffic problem,” Quisumbing said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)