- President Rodrigo Duterte declined invitations to become a guest of honor for events in Metro Manila
- The reason behind the president’s decision is because he does not want to worsen the traffic congestion in the city
- The administration will refuse invitations for now until they have effectively addressed the problems of traffic in Metro Manila
Guest of honor invitations extended to President Rodrigo Duterte were declined by the President himself.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella read Duterte’s open letter to the Filipinos on Sunday and he stated that the President will not be entertaining any invitation to be a guest of honor in events in Metro Manila given to him by individuals and organizations.
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The reason behind this is because Duterte not does not want to worsen the traffic situation in Metro Manila.
“While I consider it as a privilege and responsibility to be in touch with the people, I have to decline again and again due to a very simple reason: as President, my travels always include protocols and security measures which create traffic congestion and disturb the flow of everyday lives and activities,” said Duterte.
The President added in his open letter: “As it is, we are still being burdened by traffic issues in the Metro Manila area. It only seems prudent and sensible not to add unnecessary stress in our efforts of creating comfortable lives that include all.”
Invitations would be refused indefinitely by Duterte until his administration finds a solution to the hellish condition of traffic in Metro Manila. He also apologized to the individuals and organizations who expressed their interest to have him as their guest of honor in their events.
“Until such time as we effectively addressed these matters, please understand that I may need to decline your warm and respectful invitations. My deepest apologies. But please bear in mind that I only have your, the people’s, and the nation’s best intentions at heart,” the President said.
The Congress has been asked by Duterte for emergency powers so that he can address the problem of traffic in Metro Manila, especially the traffic jams in EDSA.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has announced his plans for addressing the traffic situation in the very capital region of the Philippines. Some of his plans include implementing unified traffic rules and building a cable car system.
According to the 2013 estimates of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, about P2.4 billion per day is being lost by the Philippines due to traffic.