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FIRING LINE: Transport crisis prevails

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Come April 15, e-bikes and e-trikes will be banned on major Metro Manila roads. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) decision may be a short-sighted response to a more significant transportation crisis.

Yes, there is no argument that these e-bikes and e-trikes pose a hazard and cause accidents on the road, but rooting them out only exposes the larger picture of the capital’s mass transportation woes.

By penalizing drivers and ignoring the root issue, the government showcases its failure to provide adequate mobility solutions for Filipinos. It can be a baffling display of misplaced priorities.

Understandably, the MMDA opts for restrictive measures within the ambit of its concern — overall traffic order and safety. If it went a step beyond by holding public consultations, city dwellers would raise the lack of efficient mass transport systems and justify why they have resorted to viable alternatives.

The Move as One Coalition has recently questioned the MMDA decision, highlighting statistics revealing that e-vehicles contribute minimally to road accidents compared with cars and motorcycles.

Furthermore, the call for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to intervene underscores the gravity of the situation. With the closure of the Philippine National Railways and looming deadlines for transportation programs, decisive action is imperative.

It’s time for the government to cease bureaucratic posturing and focus on tangible solutions to Metro Manila’s transportation woes. Anything less is an affront to the Filipino people’s fundamental right to reliable and accessible transportation.

 Good call, DepEd

The Department of Education (DepEd) ‘s decision to suspend classes on April 1 and 2 due to intense heat is not only timely but imperative.

It’s an excellent example to set for other elementary and high schools when face-to-face classes expose students to enduring dangerous temperatures and poor school environments.

Senator Win Gatchalian’s call for blended learning last Tuesday echoes the necessity to prioritize student safety amid health risks like pertussis outbreaks and scorching weather.

The recent pertussis outbreaks in various regions underscore the urgency for preventive measures and vaccine distribution.

Also, Senator Jinggoy Estrada rightly stressed DepEd’s 2022 order allowing blended learning during emergencies as a viable solution. It’s evident that investing in proper infrastructure, such as additional classrooms and ventilation systems, is paramount to safeguarding students’ well-being.

As temperatures soar to scorching levels, the government must act swiftly to ensure a conducive learning environment while protecting the health of our future generation.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View via X app (formerly Twitter). Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.thephilbiznews.com

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