State of emergency needed to solve traffic woes – motoring expert

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Motoring journalist James Deakin has suggested the implementation of radical actions to solve the congestion in Metro Manila roads, such as declaring a state of emergency.

In an interview with CNN Philippines' Headline News on Tuesday (January 12), Deakin commended some of the government's actions to solve traffic in Metro Manila such as the Highway Patrol Group manning along EDSA, but said that these are merely short-term solutions.

Related: HPG assesses EDSA traffic management

He added that the government needs to implement a more substantial plan.

"I still think there has to be something a little bit more radical. Something like a state of emergency declared on our roads in Metro Manila," he said.

A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), conducted from March 2013 to March 2014, stated that the Philippines losses P2.4 billion daily due to traffic; it could balloon to P6 billion loss per day by 2030 if the traffic situation in Metro Manila remains the same.

Related: Metro Manila has 'worst traffic on Earth,' longest commute – Waze

Deakin said that while declaring a state of emergency may sound radical, he set the example that a radical solution would be implemented if a different problem is costing the country P2 million per day.

"That sounds radical to people, but if we were going to look at any other type of enemy that was going to cost the country P2 million a day, you don't think we'd throw everything we had? If it was a foreign enemy, an epidemic of some sort, [the government] would lock it down until that was solved," he said.

Related: LTFRB eyes nonstop double-decker bus service to declog EDSA

"A pandemic that we don't seem to treat seriously" was how Deakin described the government's action to the current Metro Manila traffic.

He added that placing Metro Manila under a state of emergency is necessary as traffic affects people's health and the country's economic progress.

WATCH: Deakin asks for the creation of gov't agency to address commuters' complaints