5 reasons why traffic congestion can be fatal

Philippine Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya is probably one of the stupidest public servants under the current Aquino government today. Not only is he seemingly incapable of fixing the traffic congestion and the dismal public transport system in the country, he also has a penchant for insulting the intelligence of both motorists and commuters — those who are forced to endure miserable conditions while travelling on the road every day.

Transport Secretary Jun Abaya: Not only is he incompetent, he says a lot of silly things.
Transport Secretary Jun Abaya: Not only is he incompetent, he says a lot of silly things.
Abaya’s latest statement that the expected worsening of traffic conditions (as if it is not bad enough yet) will not be “fatal” was insensitive. It shows his lack of empathy for what millions of Filipinos go through on a daily basis. While he was talking about the chaos that will likely come about from the construction of LRT 2 extension or East Expansion Project affecting people travelling to and from Antipolo, Marikina, Cainta and Pasig areas in particular, members of the general public did not appreciate his remarks nonetheless.

It doesn’t help that Abaya is now very unpopular, so anything he says just makes those annoyed at him want to see him make good on a promise to have himelf run over by a train if he doesn’t fix the MRT problems by 2015. A lot of people have been expecting him to resign years ago and, more importantly, a lot have also been calling on President BS Aquino to fire him for his incompetence. For some bizarre reason, BS Aquino can’t even admonish Abaya the way he admonishes public servants who are not allied with him. It’s no wonder Abaya doesn’t make any apologies for his shortfalls and even goes as far as mocking the people who have no choice but to suck up the wretchedness of the Philippines’ decrepit transport system.

Abaya’s claim that the often snail-paced flow of traffic on Manila roads is not “fatal” was idiotic. Here are the reasons why:

1. Stress caused by traffic is detrimental to people’s health and wellbeing.

You would think that this is a no-brainer but apparently, there is still a need to point out that being stuck in congested traffic on the road can cause stress especially when you are on your way to work or a very important appointment. Exposure to the same situation every day can lead to chronic stress and wreak havoc in a person’s body. To quote Mayo Clinic:

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:

Anxiety
Depression
Digestive problems
Heart disease
Sleep problems
Weight gain
Memory and concentration impairment.

2. Prolonged stay on the road exposes people to harmful pollution.

Traffic at a standstill is the new normal in Metro Manila.
Traffic at a standstill is the new normal in Metro Manila.
Let’s face it; there are more lead-emitting jeepneys than hybrid vehicles on Philippine roads. This means people’s unnecessary exposure to toxins every day traffic is delayed is bad for the health. Smog, pollution and the overall poor air quality blanketing Metro Manila will increase people’s chances of suffering respiratory problems in the long term. In addition, exposure to lead found in some gasoline blends can lead to all kinds of health problems including loss of developmental skills in children. It’s been said that lead poisoning is a serious and sometimes fatal condition. It’s quite baffling that Transport Secretary Abaya didn’t know this.

3. Being stuck in traffic for hours can result in road rage.

Filipino drivers are already famous for driving on the road like Mad Max or being in “beast mode” over much of their trip. Indeed, the added stress of being stuck in traffic can fuel aggressiveness that can put other people’s lives in danger. Furthermore, dangerous driving can make traffic conditions even worse. This can result in fatalities.

4. Traffic congestion can prevent ambulance drivers and emergency crews from saving lives.

I don’t think this needs explanation. But for Abaya’s sake, I need to reiterate that if the traffic is not moving, it would be impossible for ambulances and emergency crews to reach their destination and do what is necessary to save lives.

5. Being stuck in traffic can lead to loss of livelihood and eventually, death.

There is a limit to the use of the excuse “I was stuck in traffic” before your boss fires you for being late everyday. We are talking about a country where getting a decent job after being fired is not easy. This can lead to all kinds of problems for the individual that can cause depression and possibly suicide.

One doesn’t have to be a genius to realize the adverse consequences resulting from being stuck in traffic. But unfortunately, not only do Filipinos have to deal with it; they also have to deal with a hopeless and arrogant man like Abaya. Now that alone can be fatal.

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Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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32 Comments on "5 reasons why traffic congestion can be fatal"

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Sean Akizuki
Guest

I wrote a similar article:

Traffic Problems Can Be Disastrous!

Pabaya is really being stupid!

99Hayden007777Toro
Guest

Let us take hold of Abaya and Aquino; tie them ; and put them on the Rails of the MMRT. Let them be run over by the trains; to fulfill the promise,they had promised of themselves.

These people are Scammers. They are not only incompetent; but are Natural Born Liars. They are insensitive to the sufferings of other people. They do not care of anybody, but themselves. Selfishness is in the core of their bones…

Niall R
Guest

Wouldn’t they die of heatstroke/dehydration/starvation waiting for the train?

marius
Guest

LOL!

The basic problem with Manila is not so much that the transport is inadequate: there are just too many people.

The best solution would be to abandon Manila to the squatters and start again somewhere else. Build a second city, where it can be done properly. Well … where it COULD be done properly … by anyone except Filipinos.

RBR
Guest

Brilliant idea, Marcus. However, Pinoys, addicted to being ‘in’, will probably flood your figurative second city. Best solution would be the big earthquake were waiting for. Now if only 60% of pinoys in the affected areas die from that catastrophe……

Umi
Guest

the more they suffer, the better

Cezar
Guest

Fatal ,,,, what is the meaning of this word??? As I understand it , it mean killer of life… We’ll if you will expand it the way you writers and critics say it in referral to Abaya .. It is extreme.. I am not Abaya,s supporter but I think it is unfair for him,,, to be fair … I would say also that living in the Philippines is also FATAL…. Now I think that’s is fair for Abaya…

Ian
Guest

I agree what you said but i have to say a lot of problems are caused by the drivers themselves more so the jeepney and bike drivers the standard of driving in the philippines is shocking to say the least. I am sure i dont have to explain the facts as any half decent driver will know. ?

Vey Kar
Guest

He is just emulating his boss’s words (told to a Yolanda victim who voiced out what he went throughg) — “But you didn’t die, right?” — ergo, not fatal.

Dale Jose Gozar
Member

Cheers again Ilda Ilda,

Traffic is really getting worse, no wonder @Elias Bartolome or @Tio Ralph or @Tio Elias is now Philippines expert on profanity or swearing. (no offense bro)

walter p komarnicki
Guest

the day will come when total gridlock will set in, at the time a particularly super typhoon bears down on Manila, as well as a 7.5 temblor, maybe a fanciful scenario, but not beyond the realm of possibility.
If most folks are already at their wits’ end at this ‘new normal’ stage, how will they cope when the perfect storm hits?
it reminds me of that classic REM song, “Everybody hurts sometime”, but the end may not necessarily turn out as serenely as that.

CCC
Guest
As much as i agree with the incompetence of the government to solve this problem, they should not shoulder all the blame. The problems we are having are accumulated even before the aquino administration, All of it actually. Then we expect a magic 8 ball president who will solve all this problems in the span of 6 years. This blaming the government all the time encourages most of pilipinos to do nothing because their mindset is, “it is the govt’s fault, they should fix it and we will wait and go on our merry twisted mindset ways and will get… Read more »
Dale Jose Gozar
Member
Again it not just 6yrs, it has been 30 long years of Mediocrity (Pwede na yan) and incompetence. Please look around and observe, since EDSA revolt majority of people running the government (national/local) are all link to or product of Aquino/Cojuanco. Starting from our Constitution (1987) and majority Congress (LAW makers), Judiciary & previous Leaders we had (Ramos, Estrada, GMA, Enrile, Binay, et.al.). And ever since Aquino took power from very old/weak FMarcos, incompetence and Mediocrity has been infecting (viral) everyone both in public & private sector. “Pwede na yan! (That will do!) – This kind of thinking makes us… Read more »
Dale Jose Gozar
Member
Solution: MASS TRANSPORT Instead of new roads/highways or expressway/flyover or bridges, more train will reduce vehicles congestions, pollution, accidents and promote safer & better (convenient/cleaner) future for all. Road Projects – will just benefits the Motor Vehicle manufacturers and the Arabs or oil producers due to our dependency on fossil fuel. Government should focus not only on additional coaches, line extension or new lines (Subway/LRT/MRT/PNR), maintenance & upgrading existing train facility. But much better to include the following: 1. Additional Railway for semi or full express train service (w/ limited stops) to reduce travel time and prevent train fast deterioration… Read more »
marius
Guest

Totally agree. The last thing Manila needs is more roads.

Tlegs
Guest

You are right. RAIL is the answer. Question: What does every major modern metropolis (Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, etc.) have that we don’t? Answer: A modern RAIL way system. The MRT is severely under-engineered. THE GOVERNMENT MAKES TOO MUCH MONEY OUT OF THE CHAOS! We have to decrease the number of all classes of vehicles on EDSA.

Dale Jose Gozar
Member
WHO and HOW can we solve all our Problems? “Politicians (even if they were sincere) cannot solve all these problem because they have no technical capabilities, poor problem solving skills and lacks observations/imagination (no vision) and bad organization skills, since ruling Profession or majority of our POLITICIANS (President/Leaders) in Government or Congress are ff.: a. Popular Actors/Media personalities – whose nature of work is movies/TV (fantasy or Sports not real world), or Sports Celebrities (muscle & brawn) often lack of political acumen due to poor observation & awareness (spoiled) of the real problems of our country. An actor/boxer/newscaster turned politicians… Read more »
xdarkx
Guest

I say it again: Who placed (P)Abaya in power? Or should I say who placed the people who placed (P)Abaya in power? :v

Whoever the hell they are, they also deserved to be ran over by a speeding vehicle, get crushed in between two vehicles stuck in traffic, or gassed inside a gas chamber with lead and carbon monoxide coming from vehicle fumes…..

d_forsaken
Guest
Nobody gives way to anybody. Everyone just angles, points, dives directly toward his destination, pretending it is an all-or-nothing gamble. People glare at one another and fight for maneuvering space. All parties are equally determined to get the right-of-way–insist on it. They swerve away at the last possible moment, giving scant inches to spare. The victor goes forwards, no time for a victory grin, already engaging in another contest of will. Failippines traffic is the Failipino’s life, a continuous charade of posturing, bluffing, fast moves, tenacity and surrenders. In the Failippines, Failipinos takes more than four to eight hours just… Read more »
Vincent
Member
I tried writing an article discussing a similar topic. But since Ilda said it better, I will just add a “wish”. In what I have written, I said there that I have daydreamed of a president who will come out on TV one evening to deliver this speech: “My dear fellow countrymen, I will be very honest and frank with you in this address. I offered my services last campaign period and you elected me in office to find solutions to the nation’s problems. So here I am with a solution. One of our biggest problem is our heavily congested… Read more »
cats
Guest

this is a knock-out vincent. this kind of message should be presented to all presidentiables in the upcoming #Eleksyon2016.

Vincent
Member
Thank you, cats. The point is I want a president who has balls enough to be honest to his people when problems seems unsolvable and that he needs help. Not shower them with data trying to convince us that we are still surrounded with flowers and rainbows when in truth we are in big trouble. I noticed that in SONAs (not only PNoy’s) we are always presented with data, graphs and figures that seemed nothing more than drawings of lines going up and down to most Filipinos. And that is suppose to tell us that things aren’t bad as we… Read more »
cats
Guest

as john lennon said in his famous song, “you may say, im a dreamer, but im not the only one…”, you’re not the only one indeed, vincent. and im sure as hell there are more out there who have the same sentiments as you. what you said is still attainable, and im in hope we can still find that one character who really have balls to admit and present the harsh reality in our wretched country, & has the most feasible yet inconvenient solutions laid on the table.

Naknak
Guest
“If you want to solve this problem then I will say to you loud and clear: make the sacrifice. We’ve always admired heroes for their sacrifices so now I call on you all to make the same thing. Because if you will not, I will not hear your whining anymore and instead move on to other problems” Glad to see a President (though still made-up at this point) who’s not patronizing and grateful of its people for nothing. It’s obvious that majority of the population lack the discipline, are law breakers and too dependent to government dole outs but you… Read more »
marius
Guest
It’s so depressing that people like vincent, cats and naknak and romeo are just a few small voices in a sea of irrational noise. Still, at least they exist. At least the Pinoy Pride brigade haven’t won yet. However, you guys need to realise: it’s ALMOST too late. The breeding program of the Church is producing more and more Godless, compliant idiots. Sooner or later, you’ll be outnumbered so heavily there will be no chance of redemption. Get yourselves into local positions of influence: barangay captain, city mayor, etc. That’s where you have a chance of making big changes, which… Read more »
Naknak
Guest
“Get yourselves into local positions of influence: barangay captain, city mayor, etc. That’s where you have a chance of making big changes, which perhaps will spread from there.” @marius, Funny, you’re starting to sound like the Failipinos you criticized. What’s depressing is the notion that big changes can only happen if we get into government positions. It’ll be more appealing, to me at least, if you tell us to be like Jose Rizal or Bill Gates or Steve Jobs (and be a hero or philanthropist afterwards :D) because to quote Edward R. Murrow, “A nation of sheep will beget a… Read more »
marius
Guest
Not exactly. Note that I didn’t suggest you run for President. The President is powerless. My point was that the people currently in MINOR positions – mayor, especially – run little private fiefdoms. Because they are small enough not to merit much attention from the State, they answer to nobody. They have a great deal of power to do good, or to do evil. Many of them are on a huge ego-trip, and they see it as their mission to ensure no Filipino could EVER become Bill Gates. Therefore, if you want a peaceful transition to proper statehood, those people… Read more »
Vincent
Member

No offense Marius but I already thought of that before. But I saw something in the Filipino voters that I told myself “try another way.” Mahatma Gandhi, yes Jose Rizal and (recently) Nick Joaquin are my considered models. They didn’t have to hold public office but they made an impact in history.

marius
Guest
Vincent, I admire your stance, but you (since you are, I assume, a Filipino) must be well aware of the national propensity to shoot the messenger … literally. Gandhi prevailed against the British because he was able to demonstrate that their behavior was inconsistent with their self-image. They colonizers saw themselves as fundamentally decent people introducing a benighted country to the benefits of civilisation. And in a way, they were: British Law, business philosophy, and technology did help India. It’s a pity that India rejected all of that: Britain developed those things from hard-won experience, and India chose to re-invent… Read more »
Naknak
Guest

Galit-galit yata mga cabinet secretaries. DOH secretary could have informed him the dangers of traffic congestion. And DOH should’ve been working with DENR also because of the pollution risk in our health, there should’ve been better environmental program which will have an affect also in our tourism sector and so on and so forth…

andrew
Guest

BS Aquino mentioned that heavy traffic is a sign of progressing economy. how about the 2.6 billion pesos lost because of super-heavy-mega-traffic the common juan needs to undergo everyday including the MRT problem?

basic math:
2.6 x 5 (working days)
= 13 billion lost in 5 days
fuuuudddgee!

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