By Estrella Torres | Business Mirror | September 22, 2015

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is seeking more than P20.5-billion allocation in the 2016 proposed national budget to ease the worsening traffic in Edsa and other parts of Metro Manila.

 Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said the Aquino administration aims to prioritize public infrastructure which now stands at 5 percent of the gross domestic product.

The DBM proposed P3.002 trillion for 2016 national budget to prioritize public infrastructure projects to sustain economic growth.

The budget chief said the government intends to allocate P15.7 billion under the proposed 2016 budget for the construction of metro’s rail services, as well as the North-South Rail Project.

Abad said the amount will cover the following: the subsidy for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3; the extensions for Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 2 East and West; the LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension; the MRT Line 3 Rehabilitation and Capacity Extension; and the rehabilitation of LRT Line 1 and 2.

He said other rail projects covered include: the North-South Rail Project Phase II (from Tutuban to Matnog); the North-South Rail Project Phase I (from Tutuban to Malolos); the repair, restoration, and expansion of the Philippine National Railway (PNR), and the LRT Line 1 (Dasmariñas) and Line 4 (Ortigas-Taytay).

At the same time, the proposed 2016 national budget also aims to fund  road transport projects of the Department of Transportation and Communications which includes the Integrated Transport Systems  and its Bus Rapid Transits with a budget amounting to P4.80 billion.

He said these projects—which includes the Public-Private Partnership Strategic Fund—will help in traffic decongestion and provide alternative ways of public commuting and maximizing road usage.

“Investments in public transportation are just critical to the delivery of much-needed goods and services to the public,” Abad said in a news statement released on Monday.