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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

More reasons why now is the best time to fix Metro Manila roads

/ 04:01 AM April 27, 2020

Margarita Aytona’s letter, “Fix roads while there’s no traffic” (4/20/20), urged the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and/or the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to get off their butts and take advantage of less traffic during the lockdown in Metro Manila. They should be out there fixing all roads, instead of just waiting for the lockdown to be lifted when it becomes pandemonium once again on those roads.Five reasons why we agree with Aytona:

1) Improvement of roads (especially in the face of monstrous traffic in Metro Manila) is an essential part of governance. The best time to do that is when there is less congestion on the roads. That’s common sense that even DPWH and MMDA officials manifest when they schedule repairs in the wee hours of the morning.

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2) More people should be put to work and earn their keep, instead of just waiting for doles that the government can ill afford for long.

3) “Social distancing” is still possible, as those repairs are done in open air, on wide spaces.

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4) Suspension of public works until the lockdown is lifted is manifestly insane. No less than the President (“Duterte to lift Luzon-wide quarantine if COVID-19 antibody cure becomes available,” Inquirer.net, 4/14/20) has said that such quarantine (whether total or modified) is here to stay until a vaccine is found against the virus (obviously given the ubiquitous “pila” in Metro Manila where people queue in close body contact with each other). Many scientists estimate that any such vaccine’s efficiency cannot be finally determined within 18 months or more.

5) DPWH and MMDA will receive kudos from millions of grateful motorists in Metro Manila for the smoother ride after all the road repairs are done, instead of being cursed again for having sat on their asses when they could have done something more productive during the lockdown.

In fact, why are workers for long-pending road infrastructure projects also on protracted holiday? Public Works Secretary Mark Villar needs to explain why work on most of these much-needed, much-vaunted projects is at a standstill.

Stephen L. Monsanto,
[email protected]

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, DPWH, Letter to the Editor, Luzon quarantine, road repairs, Stephen L. Monsanto
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