The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Monday defended yet another footbridge — this time on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City — that is being criticized for its height.
"Hindi lang ho namin maintindihan on our end, gaano po ba kataas dapat? Hindi naman ho pupuwedeng mas mababa pa dito dahil dadaanan po ito ng MRT," MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago said in an interview on Unang Balita.
"Ang design po nito ay dumaan naman sa pag-aaral so sa tanong po ninyo kung safe, maniwala po kayo, ma'm, safe po itong footbride na ito," she added.
Pialago, meanwhile, clarified that the footbridge was not a project of the MMDA.
"This has been the second footbridge na may issue ho 'yung ating mga kababayan. Una ho 'yung sa may Scout Borromeo EDSA. Maaaring pareho ng structure, pareho ng design, pero hindi po ito proyeko ng MMDA. Ito po ay proyeko ng contractor ng MRT-7, sila ho ang nag-modify ng nasabing footbridge," she said.
In a separate interview, Engineer Alberto Suansing, secretary general of the Philippine Global Road Safety Partnership, said the footbridge is not meant for the elderly, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and those who have fear of heights.
"Ang problema lang talaga is 'yung steep, hindi siya safe as far as health nung tao 'yung concern. Kasi maari ngang di ka mamamatay pagtawid diyan eh hihimatayin ka naman pag-akyat diyan kung mahina 'yung puso mo," Suansing said.
"This is only for the abled bodies, ika nga. Para sa mga elderly or 'yung mga PWD, hirap na sila pag-akyat dito. Kung may fear of height, medyo disadvantaged sa 'yo," Suansing added.
Suansing, however, still believes that the footbridge is "structurally safe" for the public; but he said it should be constructed with a cage to avoid pedestrians from throwing their trash to the street below.
"As far as 'yung mga footbridges na ginawa nila, structurally speaking safe 'yan. Tapos hindi mahuhulog 'yung naglalakad kasi mataas 'yung barandilya," Suansing said.
"Kagaya nito dapat may cage 'yan, kasi bakit? Puwede kang magtapon ng basura diyan eh, lalagpas sa baba," he added.
Pialago, for her part, said pedestrians can use other footbridge if they are not comfortable with the controversial footbridge.
"Kung natataasan ho sila, meron namang hong footbridge sa may unahan ho, sa may Iglesia, puwede rin po sa may Tandang Sora. You can use other footbridges na you will find comfortable for you," Pialago said. —Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA News