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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Highway Naming Right Blues

11/24/2011 12:50 PM

Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue was the primary highway at Metro Manila. It has 23.8 kilometers in length and covering the cities of Caloocan, Quezon, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati and Pasay. On this road, you will see a lot of industrial and commercial establishments, roadway infrastructures, advertisement billboards, and the Metro Rail Transit Line 3.

But more than that, EDSA was a significant part of Philippine history, especially in modern times. This road was the main stage as millions of people raged into the streets, waged and standing up bravely against the armed forces, and protested against the Marcos regime. This movement paved the way for the birth of a new republic. Corazon C. Aquino became the woman of the moment as she, on behalf of her late husband, bravely opposed then-President Ferdinand Marcos and named the icon of democracy after the dictator was forced to leave the post; prompting Aquino to ascend to the presidency.

Twenty-five years after the most recognized violence-free movement in the world, the highway was the talk of the town again after a legislator from the House of Representatives proposed a bill that will change the name from Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue to Corazon C. Aquino Avenue. According to Cong. Rene Lopez Relampagos of Bohol, the author of House Bill 5422, the name will serve as the nation's tribute to the late president. His statement goes:
"One cannot think of the 1986EDSA revolution without thinking of Corazon Aquino. It would be a fitting tribute to former President Corazon Aquino, a woman of courage and valor that EDSA – an avenue that became a testament to the country's love democracy should be named after her."
The bill calls for the repealing of Republic Act 2140, by which then-originally Highway 54 was eventually changed to Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue – naming after the late former Nueva Ecija governor and famous historian. And if I'm not mistaken, it was during the tenure of Ferdinand Marcos when the naming right of that highway began.

And it appears to be in contrast to the bill of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, which is what they called the Anti-EPAL Bill.

As I observed different people's reactions from all corners of media organizations and social networking, most people shouted "NO!" on that issue. Reasons?

· EDSA was already part of the history.
· It can't help reduce the traffic decongestion, one of the major problems in the Metro
· Very useless, brainless, and irrelevant bill. There are a lot of worthy problems to deal.
· Very awkward name.
· Politically "sipsip."
· Too much of naming rights after present politicians and their families.

But some people say "YES" in hope for the fixture of traffic problems and because they don't even know who the hell is Epifanio Delos Santos.

My take: the said bill has good intentions. But Cory's now at the new P500 bill with her husband, Ninoy. Besides, EDSA is EDSA. It cannot be a CCAA or Cory Avenue. It cannot be changed anymore because there's a milestone behind the name of the road. Also, many foreign roads should be changed since we should establish our own national identity through streets, just like Roxas Boulevard in bayside of Manila (formerly Dewey Boulevard.) Another thing; during the past administration, we have witnessed a lot of roadway infrastructure named after its political relatives? Example? In PGMA's terms, some roads and bridges were named after its father, Diosdado Macapagal, like the boulevard in Pasay City and the bridge connecting Marcos Highway and C-5 bypass road on the side of Marikina River, to name a few of them. But let's not brag about the past.

Author: SlickMaster | © 2011 The SlickMaster's Files

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