The Hellish Traffic in Manila
Is not a Sign of Progress
By Apolinario Villalobos
The hellish traffic in Manila is not a sign of progress, as rather, it is a manifestation of lack of planning, as well as, intolerance to the identified problem which is the uncontrolled multiplication of number of vehicles despite the unexpanded road system throughout the metropolitan area. The diggings for road improvement contribute a little to the chaotic traffic, if they are what others blame for the constricted flow of vehicles, because despite some of the projects having been completed, the traffic has even become worse.
Despite the popular call for the government to impose strict regulation on the registration of new vehicles, there is still, practically a prevalent rush to purchase at least one unit which requires not less than twenty five thousand pesos as down payment. On the other hand, the implementation of the law on the prohibition of old vehicles by no longer allowing the renewal of their registration seems a quixotic quest, because by doing so, only a handful of jeepneys, the poor man’s means of commute around the city will be left plying the roads. The mass transport system that consists of the LRT and MRT is not reliable due to frequent breakdowns. On the other hand, the buses that oftentimes meet accidents due to carelessness of drivers, serve only the major routes, and likewise, are consistently overflowing beyond capacity.
When a concerted effort among the agencies involved in the management of traffic imposed discipline by installing barriers to prevent swerving of motorists as they please, there were complaints from them. Motorists do not just want to stay in their respective lane, and that is the clear message from them. It should be noted that even when the barriers were not yet installed, the buses that are supposed to stay within their designated lane kept on violating the rule. The same is true with drivers of private vehicles who are frequently caught inside the yellow lane of the buses. Worst is the case of motorcycle riders who snake their way through the traffic, and in doing so, even arrogantly cut the path of delivery vans and buses!
Unfortunately, some people consider the chaotic traffic as the result of the Filipinos’ purchasing power…and that for them is progress!