FINALLY, AFTER several postponements, the Davao City Coastal Road Segment 1 is finally open to public transport. And it had no less than President Bongbong Marcos, Jr. as the main guest of honor.
We are sure of course that former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, a Davaoeno and who was the one who conceptualized the project and had it started during his administration, was invited. But many were surprised, including us of course, that the former President did not attend the opening ceremonies. His daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte, was one of the distinguished guests along with his son Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte.
Whatever the reason/s of the former President’s absence in the ceremonies people have to respect it and that his absence should not be taken against him. But of course, many Davaoenos cannot help but be intrigued of the former President’s non-attendance.
Meanwhile, the portion of the project that is already opened for vehicular traffic is a sight to behold. It is one engineering marvel; an aesthetic of an infrastructure that can attract visitors to come and see for themselves while they are in Davao City for leisure or even for work.
But has the opened segment of the coastal road served its primary purpose – that is, to ease the heavy traffic on MacArthur Highway from Matina Crossing up to Bankerohan?
Two days after the opening we were at downtown Davao for some important personal purpose and as an aside, to check whether the vehicular traffic on MacArthur highway from Matina Crossing down to Bankerohan bridge, and at the Quimpo Blvd. going to Quezon Blvd. We passed by the mentioned roads at the very hour when prior to the Coastal Highway opening the thoroughfares were the sites of traffic bedlam.
And guess what we went into? Yes, we were into heavy traffic mess in the roads mentioned. We and other motorists who had the same experience as ours after the coastal highway opening may ask why the road situation has not improved as expected.
The answer to such a question is simple. As we have projected in this space a few weeks ago when the opening of the Coastal Road Segment 1 was announced, the traffic will not be solved. In fact we mentioned that there may be more roads with serious vehicular traffic congestion.
We conceded however that the volume of vehicles from Toril to Bangkal may be reduced easing traffic a bit. However, the volume of vehicles starting from MacArthur Highway crossing Tulip drive, and those from Matina Aplaya Road crossing Tulip drive at the latter road’s end going to Quimpo Blvd. may be another scene of traffic bedlam. How come? Well, let the public not forget that the coastal road Segment 1 ends only at Times Beach area. Thus, all vehicles passing the road from the south will then be turning left to Tulip drive in Matina and join other vehicles already converging in that MacArthur road section. Other vehicles will use the road from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) office towards Quimpo Blvd converging at the section near Ecoland transport terminal.
And there will also be a huge number of vehicles from the city center going south turning left at Tulip drive to proceed to the Times Beach end of the coastal road. Certainly the number will add up to the vehicles using the Tulip drive. Thus the traffic gridlock becomes a common scene at Tulip Drive.
So, unless and until the bridge spanning the Bucana portion of the Davao River will be completed and the second segment of the coastal road is connected with the first segment humongous vehicular traffic will remain a daily occurrence on the streets herein-mentioned.
So the crafting of the new Department of Tourism (DOT) slogan “Love the Philippines” costs the government a whooping P49 million?
And to think that the advertising agency DDB Philippines that was commissioned to do the slogan has admitted that some of the footage it used in the video of the “Love the Philippines” are non-original and “stocked footage” of locations outside of the country. And for this the DDB Philippines has reportedly apologized.
And the agency charged the DOT P49 million! The gall.
Would it have been better had the DOT launched a nationwide contest for the development of a new slogan complete with videos and offered a P100 thousand or even half a million pesos prize for the winning entry? According to our friend Marlu Villarosa, a consistent observer of Philippine politics and governance, the DOT could have spent a huge amount of money enough to build better toilets and comfortable seats at our airports.
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