Senator Sherwin Gatchalian wants local government units (LGUs) to develop their own mass transportation systems to address mobility concerns in the country.
He also cited the need for LGUs to deliver improved basic services and provide better facilities.
In filing Senate Bill No. 951 or the LGU Transportation Act, the senator seeks to amend certain provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991.
According to Gatchalian, empowering LGUs to develop their mass transport system is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, which aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable through access to safe, affordable, and sustainable transport systems.
Given the traffic problem in urban areas in the country, Gatchalian emphasized that the bill calls for the interconnectivity and integration of existing and proposed national and local intermodal transportation systems, as well as the creation of a framework for inter-LGUs’ coordination in the implementation of multi-LGU infrastructure transportation projects.
He mentioned the case of the city government of Valenzuela which has entered into a partnership with Global Electric Transport Philippines for the deployment of Community Optimized Managed Electric Transport or COMET electric shuttles.
The COMET units, which shuttle commuters within and outside of Valenzuela, provide a convenient and safe riding option.
Similarly, he said Makati City is currently undertaking a mass transport project through its Makati Intra-City Subway project.
The project can operate 18 hours a day carrying 700,000 passengers. Once completed, the subway project is expected to reduce 270,000 vehicles on the road by 2048, mitigating Makati’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2.3 million metric tons, and is targeted to create 10,000 jobs for city residents.
Gatchalian said that through this bill, LGUs can create sustainable state-of-the-art mass public transportation systems with the concept of livable smart cities through various financial capabilities and arrangements involving both private and public entities, even without sovereign guarantee.