Traffic Is Caused By High Car Sales Says Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras

‘A mountain had gone into labour and was groaning terribly. Such rumors excited great expectations all over the country. In the end, however, the mountain gave birth to a mouse.’  — Phaedrus

Well… Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras didn’t exactly say it that way but that is the essence of what he said in a TV interview on ANC’s beyond politics. Here is what he said:

“I think the reason why traffic got really bad was car sales were really something else,” he said in an interview with Lynda Jumilla on ANC’s Beyond Politics.

(See full article here http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/09/09/15/too-many-cars-palace-eyes-restrictions-private-vehicles-edsa#.VfAgJXDLc90.facebook)

Uhmmm… What?!

Thing is though, such bafflingly stupid statements by Aquino’s officials are quite expected. In fact, if someone searched for all of those statements and put it together in a book, it would probably rival the sales of former President Joseph Estrada’s joke book Eraptions.

Sorry, Secretary Almendras, you are wrong.

pnoy-noynoy-aquino-mitsubishi-motors-inauguration-GMA-robert-vinasThe reason why vehicle sales have gone up is most probably because the capital region doesn’t have the kind of public mass transport system which would make it unnecessary for them to have cars.

It may come as a shock to you, but we do not have a TRUE public mass transport system.

For something to be a system, things have to be organized in such a way that each part works together to do one thing. In the case of a public mass transport system, that one thing is to transport large numbers of people from one place to another.

What we do have are hundreds of thousands of different kinds of public utility vehicles competing with one another for passengers and space on the same road network. That’s perhaps another reason why it seems appropriate that traffic gridlock in the country’s capital region is called “traffick-geddon” or “carma-geddon”.

Thing is, in order for the capital region to have a public mass transport system, changes have to be made that will affect tens of thousands of public vehicle franchise holders and that’s something a politician will avoid even broaching.

This is because, to me at least, a public mass transportation system should have at least five characteristics:

  • different modes of public transport should function together and do not compete with one another. This can imply that major thoroughfares like EDSA or Common Wealth Avenue will only have buses, jeeps will be limited to secondary streets, and tricycles will have to be done away with completely. Large subdivisions should have a shuttle system for their residents.
  • public transportation routes should connect rather than overlap. This can imply that public vehicle routes will all have the same length. As it is, there are jeeps and buses that ply routes from Baclaran to Cubao but at the same time there are jeeps and buses that ply shorter routes between Baclaran and Cubao.
  • terminals, stops, and covered walkways should be an integral part of the public transport system to discourage people from embarking/disembarking anywhere they please. The thing that causes traffic to slow down is when one vehicle suddenly stops or slows down at the head of a queue. If public vehicles can be made to strictly use terminals and stops to load/unload passengers, sudden stops or slowing down would be reduced making traffic flow more predictable.
  • all modes of public transportation work on a schedule in synchrony with business and government office hours.
  • should be a service provided by a few business entities rather than thousands of public transport operators.

Thing is, I didn’t even think this one up. These ideas have been proposed for decades now and here we have president Noynoy Aquino saying that the solution to traffic gridlock still needs to be studied less than a year before his term expires.

You know what? If I had a dirty mind, I’d say that Pnoy purposely made sure that we wouldn’t have a public mass transport system so that his cronies would make a killing from car sales. But hey! That’s just a wild idea, right?

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Post Author: Paul Farol

Try not to take me too seriously.

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26 Comments on "Traffic Is Caused By High Car Sales Says Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras"

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marius
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>> I’d say that Pnoy purposely made sure that we wouldn’t have a public mass transport system so that his cronies would make a killing from car sales. But hey! That’s just a wild idea, right?

This thought occurred to me regarding the complete absence of electric vehicles on the streets. Simply compelling tricycles to fit electric drive rather than made-in-China gasoline engines would massively reduce pollution. But I’m guessing there are a lot of well-placed people making money from gas.

Of course, if they did that, someone would then have to think about providing a functioning electricity infrastructure.

Aeta
Guest
“Traffic Is Caused By High Car Sales Says Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras.” I’ve always suspected that the Chinese-Filipino and Korean manufacturer and sales industries were behind the MMDA’s decision to outlaw locally-assembled vehicles–like the “jeepneys,” “Tamaraw” or U.S. military jeep replicas called “owners” from plying the main highways like NLEX, SLEX, and EDSA– for safety reasons. However, the truth is to compel the general population to buy brand-name automobiles if they want to travel on these major roadways. This article confirmed my suspicion that these Chinese-Filipino/Korean auto manufacturer and sales companies are in cahoots with MMDA to squeze more… Read more »
UK RAY
Guest

Yes Mr. Farol, you hit it right there. The fact is that the misery that is the NCR of Manila-Quezon City is something the people have learned to live with. A cure would make it worse in the short term, but much better in the long run.
Which would the avg. Filipino choose?

Vegemite
Guest

Poor mannered motorists with no courtesy or discipline is a large part of the problem. Can’t see that behavior changing soon.

67Hayden007Toro999.999
Guest
67Hayden007Toro999.999
Our government is a Feudal Oligarchy. Everything that the Oligarch, like Aquino and his buddies; who are getting richer, and richer, than they ever were. They are Greedier than Marcos, or any other politician, who ever served in the Philippine government. It is now, the “Reign of the Greedy”… “Traffic is the because of the rise of car sales”…what a stupid statement from an idiot, like Almendras. If there is flood, there is traffic. If they don’t follow traffic laws, there is traffic. If every driver is for, himself/herself; there is traffic. If there are no improvements of the roads;… Read more »
ChinoF
Member

Then we have people agreeing with the proposal for banning cars with 3 or less people on the road – which is likely not going to have any effect. Also, it’s passing on the burden of Juan’s wrongdoing to Pedro.

Marius, you Vincent Marius on Facebook? What you posted made the exact sense. Reducing the number of vehicles on the road is not the solution, fixing the broken systems is.

But our Filipino government seems to believe broken systems are part of our Filipino identity.

Aeta
Guest

ChinoF,

“Marius, you Vincent Marius on Facebook? What you posted made the exact sense. Reducing the number of vehicles on the road is not the solution, fixing the broken systems is.”

I don’t get your statement at all. If the system is already broken–and no chance in hell it’s going to get fixed soon–why wouldn’t the addition of uncontrolled number of motor vehicles on the road excacerbate the symptoms of that broken system? Could you explain?

Aeta

d_forsaken
Guest

The reality about transportation is that it’s future-oriented. If we’re planning for what we have, we’re behind the curve.