By Jennylou Canon


Amid an ongoing pandemic when public transport is limited, President Rodrigo Duterte boasted traffic congestion along EDSA is no longer a problem.

"Ang traffic ngayon sa EDSA maluwang na. But early on sa administration ko, it was a crisis there," he said in an interview with religous group leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

“So ang mga advise nila Tugade, ‘yung mga bright boys ko, sabi nila manghiram tayo ng pera. We can maybe adopt an MRT or somewhere paakyat. Pero basta we need money,” Duterte added.

The President even claimed travel time from Cubao to NAIA in Pasay is now at 15 minutes.

EDSA is the main thoroughfare of Metro Manila. The country’s capital region, which is the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, has remained under varying lockdown classifications that restrict people’s mobility. 

But Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Roque stood by the President’s remarks as he insisted that the infrastructure projects of the government improved the traffic situation in EDSA and not due to community quarantine restrictions. 

“That is the reality. That NLEX-SLEX connector was built so as to speed up travel and reduce vehicles plying EDSA. 30% of vehicles are now using the connector,” the Palace official said.

After the opening of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said vehicular flow in EDSA had eased. The project was approved under the previous Aquino administration and was officially opened in January this year.

Report sources: 24 Oras, GMA News