Understanding Why People Are Stuck
A few months back, Waze granted our capital as the worst place to drive on earth. Yes, welcome to Imperial Manila. It's where the average commute is 45.5 minutes and such recognition empowers bureaucrats to be best at what they do best (sorry for the redundancy).
While they're busy "managing" our world-renowned traffic, let's try to make this quick:
- In 2013, PNoy was quoted in Cebu attributing high volume of traffic in EDSA as a sign of a booming economy. Something that, even if assumed to be 100% true, delineates away from inclusive growth, even in the most unsurprising demagogue's use of the term. It's bad because...
- A year later, a study by Japan Intertational Cooperation Agency estimated that Metro Manila's heavy traffic costs 2.4 billion pesos a day and is projected to hit 6 billion pesos by 2030. The study claims to have worked closely with DOTC, DPWH, and MMDA so it's probably safe to assume there're discrepancies.
- In the best case scenario, even if the world's smartest queuing theory savants were to chair those national agencies, their mandate of "managing" traffic implies temporary relief to symptoms where there is a systemic cause to congestion and overcrowding. And by having these mandates, we are then trapped by bad policies or legislations and left with little or no room for change. We are not just slow-moving and stuck in heavy traffic, literally, but also unable to move forward as a society