In the early years,and that's before World War 2, the tranvias were the mode of transport in Manila. And also in those times there were the trains that ply from Divisoria in Manila to Damortis in La Union. Also there was the Bicol Express that ferry passengers from Manila to the Bicol region. Scratch your head and ask what happened? Anyare? Don't you think the past leaders of this country are guilty of 'dropping the ball'. Past presidents and members of the senate and House of Representatives are all somewhat guilty. Nagpabaya lahat sila. Up to now we don't have an efficient railway system. Buti pa ang Bangladesh and Mozambique,two of the poorest countries in the world, mayroon sila.
. Remember Arthur Tugade? He was secretary of Department Transportation during Duterte's regime. From day one of the Duterte administration he headed the department which is in charge in building the railroad. There’s the much awaited Tutuban to Malolos then to Clark railroad aka North South Commuter Railway project. In my own calculation this project is more or less than one hundred kilometers long.
Tugade’s press statements during those times said the work on it continued on accelerated pace even amid the pandemic was raging. Six years after, nothing happened, nada, zilch, waley. Unfinished. Let’s make a comparison, and you can research on how the 600 kilometer was undertaken in Thailand. It started in 2017 and it was finished after two years. How could you not miss the trains It was so easy then for commuters and goods to travel from Tutuban to the north. After making a stop in Malolos, Bulacan it also stopped in San Fernando and then again in Angeles. The Bicol express was taking commuters up to Legazpi City in Albay.
To recall under the Arroyo administration, an effort was made to revived the lines. Funds were made available and a Chinese construction firm, the Sinomach undertook the construction. Holy smoke, nothing came out of it because at the very start it was already attended by corruption, according to an article by respected Philippine Star columnist Boo Chanco.The people whom Arroyo trusted to finish the project somehow reportedly pocketed huge slice of the borrowed funds from China Eximbank. What I’ve heard is that the contractor was able to collect despite only 25% of the project was completed. The Aquino government failed to prosecute those responsible. Even the Duterte administration seems have forgotten all about it. I presume up to the present times the government is still servicing the loan since a sovereign guarantee provision is attached to it. This is so sad.
Traffic everywhere. The country is losing billions of pesos everyday. More so now that petroleum prices are surging on a weekly basis. The simple analysis will indicate that it is a direct consequence of obvious inaction by past and present leaders both from the national and local levels. We can no longer ignore how cities and other urban areas getting paralyzed due to traffic gridlocks almost happening everywhere. BBM, please don't'drop the ball' this time.