How can Metro Manila ever improve if Filipino politicians do not take public transport?

Metro Manila is a dump. And it is getting worse, not better. The city is being crushed under the weight of its own success as a magnet for domestic migrants looking for jobs the Philippines’ barren hinterlands cannot provide. But why is Metro Manila, the Philippines’ premiere economic and cultural centre, not improving? Not only is it not improving, it is worsening even!

The answer is quite simple. Metro Manila’s leaders do not have skin in the game. Nowhere is this lack of real stake in the fortunes of this megalopolis more evident than in public transport. Specifically this:

Filipino politicians do not take public transport as a matter of routine.

Manila's paralysed road traffic costs billions in lost productivity every year.
Manila’s paralysed road traffic costs billions in lost productivity every year.
How then can Metro Manilans ever expect things to improve in their city if their leaders have no understanding at all of what the average Metro Manilan goes through everyday?

Hold that thought for a moment and consider this first. Filipino politicians are fond of grandstanding, specially in the lead up to election days. They take with them an entourage of publicists and photographers then make like they are directing traffic, hauling sacks of onions, or any activity that makes them look like they are “one of us”. Apparently many Filipinos buy that bullshit. Despite phalanxes of “activists” derisively calling these traditional campaign stunts “epal” (a Tagalog coloquial word for “grandstanding”), the practice remains deeply-entrenched in Filipino political cultural.

So here’s the thing. Rather than fight a losing battle against epal in Philippine politics, why not put it to good use. If Filipino polticians want to make epal, why not make them do it all the way. Here is what I propose Filipinos — Metro Manilans in particular — demand of their politicians:

Start taking public transport everyday for the next two years leading to the 2016 elections.

Any baboon can make like a traffic cop or a palengkero for the 15 minutes it takes to produce a campaign video. But if Filipino politicians want to demonstrate how serious they are about improving the lot of ordinary Filipinos who, as part of their day-to-day lives, suffer the results of decades of government mismanagement, they should show Filipinos that they can take personal accountability for the idiocy of the government they want to be officers of.

What better way to demonstrate that resolve to fix Metro Manila and, by extension, the rest of the country than by living like real Filipinos for a duration that actually hurts? Indeed, a fat politician squeezing himself into an MRT or a jeepney will hurt — perhaps for the two years they will “sacrifice” to deserve the Filipino vote. Nonetheless, that “sacrifice” is really none such from the perspective of ordinary Filipinos who put up with the appalling conditions Metro Manila subjects them to everyday 365 days a year for much of their entire lives.

Filipinos deserve their current crop of no-results politicians because they habitually expect so little of them. It is only when Filipinos expect non-negotiably high standards of their leaders that the Philippines can be regarded as a country on its way to the top. We should stop satisfying ourselves with two-bit publicity stunts and demand real substance in our politicians.

It’s really not that hard.

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59 Comments on “How can Metro Manila ever improve if Filipino politicians do not take public transport?”

    1. Before Mar Roxas ran for public office, he served at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). At the time he was living in his family’s house in Cubao, Quezon City. His office was on Gil Puyat (Buendia) in Makati City. He would often make a big deal about how easy it was to get to work using the MRT — a fifteen minute commute when the shortest bus ride would take anywhere between thirty to forty-five minutes.

      Ironically, under Roxas’ watch, the DOTC presided over the massive deterioration of the MRT system, culminating in the derailment last Wednesday, 13 August 2014. He also failed to move on any other transportation infrastructure project. In fact, he (and his boss, Penoy Aquino) caused several projects approved by the previous administration to be retarded.

      Being able to empathize with their fellow men — ‘walking a mile in their shoes,’ as it were — doesn’t magically transform a buffoon into a competent bureaucrat.

  1. That would be a real source of real savings, minimizing cost of transpo for our dear senators and congressmen, etc. Who knows how many millions/billions in annual budget can be saved if they commute daily. Not that they really come in for work daily.

    But hey, he spent a night in a tent!!!! wohooo! I lab u Penoy!!!

  2. Why? There’s no reason for the upper class to do so.

    It’s something that happens every where so I don’t really see this as an important issue.

    To ease the traffic it might be better to decentralized the economy. When manila cannot support the population the people will move else where. Traffic will improve. Less powerful oligarchs will appear and balance the situation

  3. Now, that’s another issue oldbread.

    Many of our politicians come from the so called “upper class”, and is often out of touch of their constituents reality, apart from having a mere theoretical concept of it.

    In democratic countries with a mature tradition of democracy, many members of government often come from the class the represent the electorate. If the society is composed mostly of middle class, then the government make-up is similar.

    Ang problema natin sa Pilipinas ay maling akala na “demokratiko” na tayo dahil nakakaboto (o nabibili) ang mga tao at mayroon daw kalayaang mamahayag (kund hindi man naimpluwensiya ng mga media handlers ang mga pinagsasabi o pinagsusulat nila). Ang estado din daw ay hiwalay sa simbahan, pero hinihingi pa din ng mga politiko ang basbas nila.

    Ang masaklap pa, mukhang hindi pa rin natututo ang ang ating mga kababayan. (At ang marami sa mga natuto ay matagal ng lumisan at nangibang bayan.)

    @joeld
    Would it be any surprise to know that the cost of transporting our *dear* leaders is a small fraction of what it costs to “protect” them? That many of our cops and soldiers who ought to be in the street or securing the state is providing protective services for our dear leaders.

  4. They do ride public transport but on their own advantage. They will ride public transport, but it is already scripted, they are treated as VIP rather than ordinary commuters. Foe example, the MRT will not be loaded to accompany the VIP, take some photos, and Done, you have sympathy of the idiotic society.

    “Wow, Nag MRT si (insert name here), napakadown to earth nya, nakikisama siya sa hirap na dinadanas natin”

    See?

    From the company I work with, an Oil Company, even if you’re hired for an executive or corporate position, you still need to learn and experience the way of the trade. You will be trained as a Pump Attendant and experience first hand everything. Everybody goes in this process, this is promote humility and understanding more fully what the company is all about.

    Let our Politicians take Public Transport for them to understand,they need to experience hellish nightmare first before they can truly understand what needs to be done. Rather than just blabbering, excuses, and idiotic justifications.

    1. “you still need to learn and experience the way of the trade”

      Aside from commuting then, politicians should receive a minimum wage salary, buy goods in wet markets, cross pedestrian where vehicles are beating the red light, cross underpass, overpass or long footbridge without roof at noontime, walk on the dark sidewalk, eskinitas where there are no lamplights to hide holdapers, live in squatter’s area, collect garbage on the street using old dump trucks with usual jeans and shirt as uniform, sumugod sa ulan at baha…(sine) There’s so much they need to learn.

  5. There have been cases in the UK of affluent members of parliament being encouraged/forced to take public transport by their PR people and to send their kids to public rather than private schools to set such an example. It really makes sense.

    When greater transparency revealed that many MPs were claiming unreasonable luxuries as expenses, there was even a ban on things like taking taxis before 11pm at night.

    It was a big outrage at the time, but since I moved to the Philippines and started reading this site, hearing that an MP built his garden shed using taxpayers’ money doesn’t seem like such a big deal any more.

  6. Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York city, one of the richest people in the United States and in the whole world with $33 billion of net worth, takes the subway to work like most regular folks.

    The only people here in the Philippines who I have heard followed a similar habit, was a certain congressman who rode a bike to work everyday, and Jesse Robredo, former DILG secretary who also followed the same routine when he was mayor of Naga city. Such people however, are very rare here in the Philippines.

    1. Riding the subway to work doesn’t mean Bloomberg hasn’t made any dubious policy decisions. He implemented a ban on certain sizes of sugary drinks as part of his health initiatives. Of course, the ban did not include SMALLER drink sizes nor did it prevent people from buying them. He also implemented a number of ‘nanny state’ policies such the first conditional cash transfer program in the history of the US. He replaced the public school board and assumed direct control of public education in New York City, and raised teachers’ salaries. However, recent studies have shown that New York City high school graduates are not prepared to meet the challenges of college. Many take remedial courses for no credit in their first year.

      How many more mayors in the US take the subway or bike to work? One New York mayor using public transport does not make it rarer occurrence among Filipino politicians.

      1. Well I’m not making arguments about his policy decisions and overall legacy as mayor of New York, but the fact that he as a public official takes the mass transportation of the city he served as mayor in, makes sense in principle, and demonstrates that he is grounded to some extent.

        If public officials in the Philippines applied even a bit of that kind of thinking, then perhaps they’d be better public servants.

        1. That WAS the point you were trying to make, was it not? Public officials using public transport are more grounded. Therefore we expect them to make better policy decisions that reflect what their constituency needs. I submit that reality DOES NOT necessarily follow your premise. At best you can characterise the elected official as less aloof but that doesn’t demonstrate that he or she will do a better job. Worse, it comes off as a cynical publicity gimmick if the official proves to be no more effective than one who travels in a chauffeured vehicle.

        2. Note that I said ‘perhaps’ in my last sentence above, not definitely. That’s the keyword here. If they rode public transport, they’d be more grounded, and if they are more grounded they are LIKELY to be better public servants.

        3. Note that I used the ‘perhaps’ in my last sentence above. Maybe I should’ve used a different word.

          Yes it doesn’t guarantee they’ll be better public servants, but if they rode public transportation they’ll be more grounded, and if they’re more grounded then maybe they’re LIKELY to be better public servants, meaning they’re LIKELY to make better policy decisions.

        4. Again, as I said in the previous comment: Having more grounded public officials MAY result in better policy decisions, BUT, as your own example demonstrates, the real world has shown that your subway-riding politicians haven’t necessarily performed any better than the chauffeur-driven variety.

        5. There are no formal studies done to prove it, but I’d be willing to bet that politicians who ride the same public transportation as the rest of us, will make better policy decisions than the chaffeur-driven variety.

          If I may ask you, which would you prefer to make decisions – a guy who has lived on ivory towers almost his whole life or a modest guy who has lived and breathed the same air as you do, and have more or less shared the same experiences that you have? Who would you likely trust and follow?

        6. Jmac,

          I would prefer that you do not turn the discussion into an issue involving class warfare. That’s a separate matter altogether.

          As you say, there is no empirical evidence to prove that people who use public transport will be better public servants. That humans place greater trust in those who belong to the same social group, or seemingly have the character traits as the group one belongs to, has long been established by social scientists. These are basic group behaviours. They explain HOW a person can get elected to a position of leadership. They do not necessarily determine how well that individual will perform.

        7. I made no such mention of anything referring to class. And I wasn’t necessarily referring to those of the same social group, but rather those who have shared or have similar experiences. Clearly it is no accident that people tend to trust those people with experience in the problems they are tackling than those without.

          Would you trust a lawyer over a doctor when handling surgery? Let’s take it further, would you trust a novice surgeon over a veteran surgeon when handling surgery? Or specifically, would you trust an internist over a neuroscientist when tackling medical problems related to the nervous system? There is a reason why there is a specific set of qualifications in a given job and why people don’t just give out jobs to anyone.

          You really didn’t answer my question, though I admit to the fault that I phrased my question in a way that led you to think I was implying class warfare. So I ask again, who would you trust more in tackling public transportation problems; someone who has experience riding Metro Manila’s public transportation or someone whose experience of it is limited only to what he saw from inside his chaffeur-driven vehicles?

  7. If we apply logic, we may conclude that Philippine politicians hate it when they are told what to do and correct them when they are wrong thus even if for them it’s the right thing to do they won’t do it. Why? Lesson # 1 – It’s not for the reasons the Filipinos demanded after they won their coveted seat that they run for office. Lesson # 2 – It’s also not for that reason that they got voted. Lesson # 3 – They are covered in their whole term by the “platforms” they presented during candidacy so no thinking of the later problems. Their pork is not planned for that. Thus they become too hardheaded that Filipinos have to force to them what needed to be done. They forgot that the real work or service begins when they took that seat and take a hold of the people’s taxes.

    Au contraire, they could have listened and use their head to ease society’s burden if, per my friend’s words, “people who don’t care what ever they do don’t exist”.

    Duterte not just drove public transit he also catches offenders and punishes them. Other politicians have to be told what to do because they don’t have the gall to do that or to do better (or in that they are the offenders). They demand a different kind of dignity complementing their high position.

  8. They would probably ride public transit more if they weren’t at risk of getting shot. Then they’d shut down the public transit in response.

  9. Benign0,
    I dont know any politician in western europe that takes public transport as a mode to commute. At best, one or two take their own private bike to go to parliament but thats because they live in the same city (The Hague).
    In my country as well, we are suffering from congestion and traffic jams. I guess, the main reason for that is that we all go to work at the same time. To solve it, partly, is to have flexible (starting) hours or being able to work at home. However, this wont work for those who work in production facilities like factories.
    Other possible solutions are widening roads/highways and to discourage people from using their own private means of transportation and encourage them to take public transport.

    We are a bunch of individuals so that means we will not look at what our politicians do. We will choose our own means of transportation of which we think is the most efficient and/or most convenient one and/or cheapest. Most people dont even like to “carpool”. We see that as an invasion of our privacy.

    Our trains and busses are efficient but can be cramped during rush hour.

    1. Yes, there are a variety of solutions to address not just traffic congestion but many other urban problems in Metro Manila. But if politicians remain cloistered in the artificial environments of their gated communities, their stake in the problem is diluted and the urgency with which they regard these issues is diminished.

    2. US VP Joe Biden used to take trains every working day to go to his office, and so are several other US politicians. Of course, moving to his VP residence, he need not do it, at least, for awhile.

    3. Robert, Europe is a damn big place. Maybe you per say don’t know any politicians who take public transport. But there are plenty.

  10. ”Its more fun in the Philippines” main target audience are not prospective tourists. It’s added sugar to the mass delusion, which the masa are so addicted to.

  11. These Politicians cannot do what you are telling them to do…they are used to the luxuries of life: cars, drivers, servants, psychophants, etc…who cater to all their needs. It will Kill them; if they do, what we ordinary people do…

    Metro Manila needs to be DECONGESTED. This begins with the Squatters…who contribute mostly to this congestion.

    Industries and commercial sites must be DISPERSED TO NEARBY OR to other Provinces.

    There is no other way to move a huge amount of people than by Commuter Train.

    Other countries, like Japan, China, other European countries, have the MAGNETIC LEVITATION Commuter trains.
    This train can move on rail/air, by magnetic levitation. It can run at 250 to 350 miles per hour.

    So, an employee, residing in Bicol can travel to Metro Manila in approximately 2 hours.
    It is a High Technology kind of transport.

    They have also to control the population of the Philippines…we are multiplying like Rabbits…

  12. I understand that former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos had already been working on developing areas away from Metro-Manila precisely for this purpose–i.e. to draw people away from MM and prevent this from happening.

    Sadly, Filipinos focused more on political personalities and less on their projects, that’s why this effort was never realized. Then, there is this very Pinoy tendency to procrastinate & wait until the problem becomes a serious crisis before acting on it (if at all). Pinoy-style management is lazy and not pro-active.

    1. Let’s not reimagine history with false memories and lies.

      Formulating policy “to draw people away from MM and prevent this from happening” is the worst reason for economic development. Progress AND its attendant benefits occurs BECAUSE economic activity is allowed to proceed unencumbered and unrestricted by external forces. The only thing the Marcos administration accomplished in twenty-five years of managing the Philippine economy was to transform the country into ‘the sick man of Asia’ and turned the population into a nation of migrant workers.

      “Sadly, Filipinos focused more on political personalities and less on their projects, that’s why this effort was never realized.”

      FERDINAND MARCOS’ RULE WAS BUILT AROUND HIS OWN CULT OF PERSONALITY! The man was obsessed with promoting an image that portrayed him as a larger than life character.

      Marcos parlayed himself as a war hero who led a guerilla unit against the Japanese during World War II and was awarded several medals for his effort. Only later was it revealed that the commendations were phoney and that he was probably involved in criminal activity during the war. He married a model-singer — Imelda Romualdez — who was a local beauty contest winner, and who also briefly dated his future political rival, Benigno Aquino Jr. This served to emphasize his manliness as well as to form an alliance with the Leyte political family. During the Martial Law years, he would create the ‘New Society Movement’ (KBL) as a means to indoctrinate Filipinos into the idea of Marcos as the country’s ‘saviour’ in the vein of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew.

      None of this improved the lot of the majority of Filipinos. But it did facilitate the reallocation of what little wealth there was in the Philippines to his relatives, friends and cronies. Any ‘(infrastructure) projects’ the Marcos administration completed were secondary to its primary goal of assuming control Let’s not reimagine history with false memories and lies.

      Formulating policy “to draw people away from MM and prevent this from happening” is the worst reason for economic development. Progress AND its attendant benefits occurs BECAUSE economic activity is allowed to proceed unencumbered and unrestricted by external forces. The only thing the Marcos administration accomplished in twenty-five years of managing the Philippine economy was to transform the country into ‘the sick man of Asia’ and turned the population into a nation of migrant workers.

      “Sadly, Filipinos focused more on political personalities and less on their projects, that’s why this effort was never realized.”

      FERDINAND MARCOS’ RULE WAS BUILT AROUND HIS OWN CULT OF PERSONALITY! The man was obsessed with promoting an image that portrayed him as a larger than life character.

      Marcos parlayed himself as a war hero who led a guerilla unit against the Japanese during World War II and was awarded several medals for his effort. Only later was it revealed that the commendations were phoney and that he was probably involved in criminal activity during the war. He married a model-singer — Imelda Romualdez — who was a local beauty contest winner, and who also briefly dated his future political rival, Benigno Aquino Jr. This served to emphasize his manliness as well as to form an alliance with the Leyte political family. During the Martial Law years, he would create the ‘New Society Movement’ (KBL) as a means to indoctrinate Filipinos into the idea of Marcos as the country’s ‘saviour’ in the vein of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew.

      None of this improved the lot of the majority of Filipinos. But it did facilitate the reallocation of what little wealth there was in the Philippines to his relatives, friends and cronies. Any ‘(infrastructure) projects’ the Marcos administration completed were secondary to its primary goal of assuming control over anything worth buying, selling or owning in the country.

        1. For clarity, kindly read the comment by Felipe and this response again:

          Let’s not reimagine history with false memories and lies.

          Formulating policy “to draw people away from MM and prevent this from happening” is the worst reason for economic development. Progress AND its attendant benefits occurs BECAUSE economic activity is allowed to proceed unencumbered and unrestricted by external forces. The only thing the Marcos administration accomplished in twenty-five years of managing the Philippine economy was to transform the country into ‘the sick man of Asia’ and turned the population into a nation of migrant workers.

          “Sadly, Filipinos focused more on political personalities and less on their projects, that’s why this effort was never realized.”

          FERDINAND MARCOS’ RULE WAS BUILT AROUND HIS OWN CULT OF PERSONALITY! The man was obsessed with promoting an image that portrayed him as a larger than life character.

          Marcos parlayed himself as a war hero who led a guerilla unit against the Japanese during World War II and was awarded several medals for his effort. Only later was it revealed that the commendations were phoney and that he was probably involved in criminal activity during the war. He married a model-singer — Imelda Romualdez — who was a local beauty contest winner, and who also briefly dated his future political rival, Benigno Aquino Jr. This served to emphasize his manliness as well as to form an alliance with the Leyte political family. During the Martial Law years, he would create the ‘New Society Movement’ (KBL) as a means to indoctrinate Filipinos into the idea of Marcos as the country’s ‘saviour’ in the vein of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew.

          None of this improved the lot of the majority of Filipinos. But it did facilitate the reallocation of what little wealth there was in the Philippines to his relatives, friends and cronies. Any ‘(infrastructure) projects’ the Marcos administration completed were secondary to its primary goal of assuming control over anything worth buying, selling or owning in the country.

      1. Come on now, give it a rest with the Marcos boogeyman shit already.

        Felipe made a good point with what he said. Marcos had foresight, that is for sure.

        1. What “Marcos boogeyman shit?” Are we now denying actual documented history in favour of a more convenient narrative? Lying for the sake of winning an argument? Sounds like something Penoy and company would do. Or Ferdinand Marcos.

          Whatever grand plans Marcos had — from building a national government centre in Quezon City to land reform to energy development to ASEAN — it is undeniable that they amount to little in the face of his legacy to the Philippines and its net effect on the Filipino people. As it has often been asked on various GRP posts: What, if any, were the accomplishments of the Filipinos (under the Marcoses)? And you’ll find the same complaints of an indifferent government and abusive politicians going back fifty years. A people still long on hope, dreams and promise, but short on execution.

          The Marcos era wasn’t distinguished by being the only presidency with a ‘grand scheme’ for the nation. Those too were smoke and mirrors for his friends and cronies to reallocate wealth for themselves. Back then, Filipinos had only ONE enemy on which to focus their frustration. After Marcos, the only real difference is that the Aquinos ushered in the nightmare of the Filipino people having to deal again with the established pre-Marcos oligarchy AND the newer political dynasties that emerged in their wake.

        2. Do not be confused: Ferdinand Marcos was a CRIMINAL SCUMBAG.There is no doubt about it.He and his completely delusional conniving wife stole every bit of wealth the country produced for close to 20 years.This included a few wealthy USA corporations as well.
          PLDT is Marcos-money owned, as many other thing in the country are.He was forced into exile but that was only till the heat died down and then he came back to be united with the part of the loot he could not get away with when he was exiled.The part of the looting that was not already funneled out of the country.His family still remains a political dynasty to this day and they sit idly by until it is their turn once again to be at the head of the table that is the table full of dynastic families that run the local economies of the country.
          It will only be when these ‘dynastic’ families/vermin/rats are purged from fillipine society will there be any chance for a democracy to flourish in the country and a middle-class that can be brought to prosperity.

          Until then it is the wise man that is not fooled by the historical re-write and it is the fool that hopefully believes that rewrite.

    2. @Felipe. Even if Marcos stole billions from the Philippines–more than any single presidents, and their administration, before and after him–he also spent a considerable portion of that money to rebuild and maintain the country’s infrastructure and take care of his people.

      If you add up all the money and wealth that has been pilferred away, through graft and corruption since Marcos’ ousting in 1986 by our politicians and foreign companies doing businesss in the Philippines–and will continue to be pilferred away in the future–what Marcos stole will be a mere ‘chump change.’

  13. This article makes sense in that if Filipino politicians took public transportation, if only as a matter of principle, it will show that they are somehow grounded and in touch with ordinary people’s daily nightmarish experiences taking public transportation and not too comfortably sheltered from them. Perhaps in this way, they’ll be able to make better and more practical solutions to Metro Manila’s perpetual problems. It will show that they have a healthy level of appreciation for what a typical daily commuter in Metro Manila goes through everyday because they experience it themselves.

    Ergo, they should spend less time in their exclusive gated communities, air conditioned rooms and posh upscale commercial establishments that cater to the upper classes, less time being driven around by their drivers in expensive cars in official convoys, and more time breathing the same polluted air, feeling the same tropical humid heat, walking the same difficult pathways, being confronted by the same beggars, pushing and shoving and racing among other ordinary people for a space to sit or stand on in the city’s crowded trains, buses, jeepneys and other modes of public transport.

  14. “Filipinos deserve their current crop of no-results politicians because they habitually expect so little of them. It is only when Filipinos expect non-negotiably high standards of their leaders that the Philippines can be regarded as a country on its way to the top. We should stop satisfying ourselves with two-bit publicity stunts and demand real substance in our politicians.”

    That summed it up nicely. I hope Mar Roxas reads this piece of yours.

    Personally, I’d be happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with one of them politicians inside the MRT. The idea isn’t exactly impossible. I remember in the news a couple of years back ata, Manny Pacquiao took the MRT before because traffic on EDSA was at a standstill. Kris Aquino also had to take the MRT.

    Idk, the way I see it or at least how local papers present it, local politicians are more into governance/ management by way of managing emotions rather than management by way of hitting hard objectives. I think pa-cute is the word I was looking for.

    Cheers!

    1. @YellowTard Johnny Saint:

      We don’t care what kind of “son of a bitch” Marcos is; he is past and history.

      We are more interested what your Chief YellowTard Aquino; who is also a “son-of-a bitch”. What he has done and is doing to solve the country’s problem. We are interested where Aquino spent the DAP, PDAF, Pork Barrels, etc…

      Maybe, you are also paid on this DAP, PDAF, etc…to defend rabidly your Boss.
      Kiss his ass; maybe he will pay you more…

      1. It is pitiful that whatever hatred consumes Hyden Toro prevents him from being able to form any coherent thought. It reaches a point that causes him to reinvent historical fact. It’s this kind of emotional behaviour that is often criticised in GRP as being counterproductive, even highly destructive.

        The point of contention isn’t even difficult to understand. Ferdinand Marcos, despite all his promises and grand plans for the Republic, failed to deliver. His legacy was a multi-billion dollar debt, a ruined economy and the emergence of generations of Filipino migrant workers.

        None of this repudiates the fact that Penoy Aquino is a supine incompetent bereft of any professional accomplishment who got elected on the corpses of his more famous parents. Nor does it absolve him from perpetrating a scheme of systemic corruption that costs the nation billions.

        1. Marcos is no longer relevant…he is dead 30 years ago…Aquino is there sitting in Malacanang Palace. Did Aquino deliver what he promised?

          Blaming a politician who has been dead is a stupid way tho play the Blame Game…Aquino’s Game of diversion…anyway, do your part…Aquino may pay you more…

        2. Hyden Toro,

          You really need to check which delusion it is you are following.

          The point of contention was Marcos’ so-called ‘plan’ for the Philippines. A plan which was rendered irrelevant and, sadly, another in a long line of missed opportunities for the nation because of his actions while president and the stagnation owing to mismanagement by Cory Aquino who succeeded him.

          To deny the cumulative effects of poor policy decisions made over the last 40-50 years by successive administrations — from Marcos to Penoy Aquino — to place our current situation into context is the most idiotic attitude to take. This is a classic example of ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ ‘Hyden Toro’ seems determined to have readers believe that the Philippines’ problems start and end with Penoy Aquino.

          But because you dislike certain analysis, you would rather destroy it and the person offering it in spite of its merits? And everything associated with it? Do you even know WHO does that? CORAZON AQUINO. And NOYNOY AQUINO. If there is anyone behaving like a ‘noy-tard’ demagogue in the GRP forums, it’s the character calling himself ‘Hyden Toro.’

  15. Does not matter if politicians use public transport or not. No one gives a fuck, everyone is in it for themselves. All anyone cares about is me me me me and screw everyone else.
    All 100 million all talk zero action. Nothing ever changes.
    Everyone pretends to be different and they all turn out to be the same.
    Middle classes like to blame the squatters for all the problems in the city, and end of the day they are no different to anyone else.
    Every day i see car windows open and bags of rubbish being thrown out. Fuck the environment as long as i am alright jack, me me me me.
    3/4 of Metro Manila’s population treat the city as their own personal trash can.

    Everyone parks where they want, no consideration to pedestrians. Use the pavements to park because it is all about me me me and screw everyone else.
    Junctions are meant to be kept free so traffic flows, most traffic jams in the world are caused by blocked junctions. Here everyone blocks them, no consideration for other motorist.
    Everyday in Alabang i see motorist speeding through red lights, no consideration for other motorist or the fact they might cause a fatal accident. All about me me me me. So selfish.

    How often do you see cars at night with no lights, disaster waiting to happen.
    Half the motorist do not even bother to indicate when they turn. All about me me me me.

    Men piss anywhere, no consideration for other peoples property or the face someone else has to clean the mess up. No consideration for women walking down the street with young children. Out comes the dick and piss.

    No infrastructure being built, mrt on its last legs no one cares as long as they can steal the budget. No one ever get prosecuted, goes to prison or ever pays the money back. State sponsored theft, open season steal all you can.

    DWPH web site
    DPWH FINISHES ROAD UPGRADE OF 2 MIDDLE LANES ALONG ESPAÑA BLVD
    Snippet
    Originally scheduled to be implemented within ninety (90) calendar days, DPWH adjusted the completion date of España works to sixty (60) days to avert traffic congestion during the opening of classes.

    The road improvement aims to mitigate flooding along España Boulevard in Sampaloc, Manila, one of the busiest thoroughfares in Metro Manila, where flooding has been a perennial problem.

    Ah yes half hour of rain 19th August and surprise Espana Boulevard was flooded again. So much for doing road works and fixing the drains for 60 days.

    On with the show, business as usual. Nothing will change.

    1. YES, Mr.YAWN :YOU are absolutely 100% correct.
      It is truly repulsive to see Filipino’s act like pigs when they go to the beach and leave their garbage where they were sitting as if someone is going to clean it up OR just throw a bag of McD’s or Starbucks remains out the window of their vehicles LIKE FUCKIN PIGS!!!
      it is the only place I have ever seen where people do this type of thing.It boils down to a lack of respect for Mother Earth and ultimately themselves as they end up living in the shit they throw on the street, JUST LIKE FUCKIN PIGS!!!

      and you are damn skippy,ain’t a mutha-fuggin thing going to change in the shit-hole/pig-stye of a country.

      Tourists no longer even stay in Manila,its stay by NAIA and catch a domestic flight to Surigao/Camiguin/Palawan or somewhere else that has a clean beach. Cebu is just as bad and that airport is an even bigger nightmare.

      It is truly sorrowful that such a beautiful place has been turned into a TOTAL cesspool in one human life time…TRAGIC.

  16. MRT new maximum speed 40 km/h

    Shanghai Maglev 431 km/h

    Robert Stephenson’s 1829 Rocket a steam train 45 km/h

    So now train speeds in Manila have been reduced by a third the queues outside stations will be even longer.

    Quicker for Brits to travel by train to work 185 years ago.

  17. Why not make an MRT station both in Batasan and in the Senate building?, Malacañang too, but just outside the Mendiola bridge.. Probably if MRT stations are built on those place, some government workers could commute to work and complain with their bosses in the Senate, Batasan or in Malacañang about some of its inefficiencies..

    1. @YellowTard Johnny Saint

      More than 30 years of Aquino era; and you still Blame Marcos, who is dead more than 30 years ago? What kind of thinking is that? Only from a YellowTard, disinformation agent of Aquino.

      What has the Aquinos done to this country?

      1. Protect his Hacienda Luisita.

      2. Destroy his political enemies.

      3. Made themselves richer and richer; together with their YellowTard minions, who got rich also.

      4. They did not control inflation…so there is now hyperinflation….high prices of basic commodities, go higher and higher everyday.

      5. Used the Pork Barrel, DAP, PDAF, etc…as incentive to gain political followers.

      Johnny Saint is a Disinformation Agent of Aquino…Kiss Aquino’s Ass more; lick them…he may pay you more…

      People are now awakened…your tactic is “lumang tugtugin” already…

  18. The more I read this, the more I love it. The only way government, and especially our government, can meet and answer sociocultural needs is if it gets more than a bird’s-eye look at the situation on the ground, and in our experience, there’s nothing like the current debacle with the MRT to galvanize governmental response.

    Any politician who takes up benign0’s offer not only demonstrates his commitment to public service, by being in the muck with the masses — he also casts his political future to the wolves should be fail to fulfill his promises made while riding on the same train as his bosses (to use a Noynoy buzzword).

  19. Perhaps we can help our politicians if we suggest on forums the solutions on problems instead of cursing them. For me our govt should fully commit to subsidized mass transporation instead of giving pork to our politicians.

  20. we are past cursing them politicians…a lot of solutions have been offered here and i know that them politicians have their own people reading these blogs, otherwise we won’t have them trolls, so they know we are watching and we are talking but then i guess all they do is shrug their shoulders and who gives a fuck about them voters..can you name one politician who gets down on the ground and not their mighty “Honorable” shit? anyone like Jesse Robredo out there left in this country of ours?

    1. If someone like Manong Jesse go public they will die so his wife, Cong. Leni, voted aye for BBL so she won’t follow soon.

  21. Hayyy!!!!! -_- mga Politicians talaga oh!!!! tsk. tsk. tsk.
    Sa una lang yan sila magaling pero sa huli mga CORRUPT pala. Kaya ang ating ekonomiya ay hindi tumataas o di nag-iimprove lang man.
    #EconomyDown!!!!

  22. I would love to see and hear some senators, congressmen and even cabinet secretaries be one of those who will be pushed and shoved in an MRT or LRT coach. And just for the sake of exposing real characters and attitude, I would also appreciate if one of them will be pushing and shoving other desperate passengers too. I want to see what would these government officials do if they were caught in a crowded station especially if they are running late for an appointment.

    There is a bright side to this. Isn’t this a chance for an instant public consultation? Example, one senator a passenger in a crowded public utility vehicle. Some people just would like to be heard. Indeed, this is being epal but put into a good use.

    I heard of a rumor years ago that Mar Roxas, when he was still senator, takes the MRT from Cubao station to Taft where a car is waiting for him. He does this daily said the rumor. Assuming this is true, I wonder if he got anything from it. I thought this is the reason why he was made transportation secretary by this administration.

    Looks like he didn’t get any.

  23. “How can Metro Manila ever improve if Filipino politicians do not take public transport?”

    Becausese it would appear these Filipino politicians are turning their backs on Chinese and Korean-owned automobile manufacturers–who paid (bribed) them very well–by authorizing more privately-owned vehicles on the road for the growing ‘consumer mentality’ of the Filipino people, in spite of the lingering concern over traffic congestion and air pollution. It really is a vicious cycle of life in the Philippines.

    ‘The Philippines is corrupt because the people are corrupt; the people are corrupt because the culture is corrupt.’–Aeta

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