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Legarda Pushes for Road Sharing to Ease Burden on Urban Dwellers

January 10, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda has urged the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and local government units (LGUs) to implement roadsharing in the Philippines, particularly in Metro Manila, in a bid to improve the quality of life of citizens as well as lessen air pollution.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, introduced a special provision in the 2016 national budget that states that the amount appropriated for the transport and traffic management services shall also be used for road sharing activities.

Legarda said, “It’s about time the government puts an end to our car-centric approach to mobility which encourages usage of private vehicles while marginalizing those who have no option but to take public transportation.”

The Senator urges government agencies to develop a scheme that will enable for a 50-50 sharing of the roads. Fifty percent of the road should be allocated to well-designed sidewalks for pedestrians, bike lanes, and urban gardens which can give people rest and shelter from heat and rain. The rest of the road will be devoted to private vehicles and an organized transport system.

“The philosophy of the 50-50 road sharing is that the public space will be used by people and not just by cars which is the model we see on our roads now,” Legarda stated.

“The road sharing scheme has been done by some LGUs. It may be hard to do in Metro Manila, but it is not impossible,” she added noting that the cities of Cebu, Iloilo, Marikina, Pasig, and Vigan were recognized by the Share the Road Movement for introducing and implementing programs that promote non-motorized transportation.

According to reports, only about 2% of the population of the Philippines owns motor vehicles, but motor vehicles are given all of the road space. The remaining 98% of our people are not given proper sidewalks, bike lanes, and a good public transportation system.

Another negative result of private car-centric approach to transportation is air pollution. An ADB study showed that transport sector emissions accounted for 30% of air pollution in the Philippines and about 80% in Metro Manila.

“We need to be open-minded about road sharing and to exhaust all possibilities of giving this program a chance. We owe it to our citizens, especially those who labor each day for their families, to improve their way of life,” Legarda concluded.