MMDA’s Proposed Ban and Bane

manila_traffic_mmdaPeople are outraged by MMDA’s proposed number coding scheme that is set to ban vehicles plying EDSA for two days instead of one. While the movement seems like a legitimate effort to curb vehicle volume, perhaps the same has not been well thought and apparently costing the administration some points especially with the upcoming SONA. The poor timing does not come as a surprise as people have been well acquainted with the chairman’s pomposity made public in his recent displays in the “Hell’s Gate” issue. The truth of the matter is EDSA is a Hot Gate for motorists and is an expected choke point for Metro Manila’s motorists. While our chairman is obviously in denial of Metro Manila’s hellish conditions, anyone plying through Metro Manila’s main thoroughfares is no stranger to its pervasive lawlessness and displays of human misery. Corruption still prevails as well as the abuse of the strong versus the weak and helpless. In recent days netizens desperately tried to make their point by posting photos of buses holding up traffic at the expense of the common motorist. The problems are obvious, however it seems like the middleclass is always expected to bear the weight of inconveniences and losses in productivity.

Early during the onset of the administration, the same middleclass that rallied in support of the “daan na matuwid” lauded at the ideas and promises especially those made by the newly appointed chairman. If memory serves me right, some of these ideas are now being recollected. Some of these include: Banning regional buses along EDSA and getting buses off the quota system. Enforcing the bus lanes and impounding colorums are just stopgap measures that span across administrations and often used to appease the public ad hoc. Certainly there is no sustainability in the latter and it takes a lot of political will to achieve the former. Apparently, nothing has changed and the promised political will remains to be an illusion. Ironically, “Daan na matuwid” could not even keep the buses in their own lanes.


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The problem is obviously systemic. Transportation operators are organized and have a huge leverage over our politicians. Our public transportation system is inadequate and remains riddled with allegations of corruption to this very day. While the administration dares to present the traffic problem as a sign of progress, millions of Pesos are lost daily due to losses in productivity caused by traffic and an inefficient public transportation system. The new number coding scheme is certainly a bane to the middleclass but do they really have a choice? The middleclass who is overly taxed and overly charged with the rising cost of petrol, tolls and poor roads continues to be the whipping boy of government, big business and the entitled poor. One thing I do ask of the administration and the upcoming SONA, and that is for them to stop lying to us. The middleclass has had enough!

[Photos courtesy brommel and Gulf News.]

12 Replies to “MMDA’s Proposed Ban and Bane”

  1. You want them to stop lying to us? They just got started. Noynoy is the worst kind of incompetent . The one who does not have a clue that he is incompetent. The guy has never been accountable to anybody or anything in heis life. He ain’t gonna start now. Hong Kong is still waiting for the apology from August 2010.

        1. u kno, I was standing at the grandstand that day. I knew it would end badly, so I did not waste my time sticking around to see the events turn out as they did… UGLY.

  2. I’m with you on this John, if there is anything at all to be outraged about it is forcing the middle class to use public transportation — as decrepit as it is.

  3. Only 20% of filipinos drive private automobiles. The amount of the budget expended to expand and maintain roadways for the benefit of that 20% and the car dealers who continue to sell cars despite the clogged traffic; is huge. Single passenger automobiles are an incredible waste. Parked cars continue to steal sidewalk space forcing pedestrians into the dangerous streets. The air is unbreathable because of the corrupt smog monitoring program. The only solution is limiting the number of cars in certain sections of the city. Private automobiles should have to park outside these areas in parking garages and take electric shuttles into the city to terminals. They can be taken from the terminals by bicycle pedicabs. We need more green zones in the city; not more cars.

    1. Believe me, I’d want to ride to “train” to work everyday. But have you seen the MRT lately? Wow!

      I can’t imagine myself appearing at an important business meeting all sweaty and smelly from riding the MRT.

      My brother in Toronto, on the other hand, declined his company’s offer to give him a car. Wny? Because the bus system there works quite well (even in the dead of winter) and it saves him all the attendant costs and hassles of maintaining a car (including shovelling it out of the snow during winter).

      If we had a public transport system (either trains or buses) that ran on time and wouldn’t be terribly crowded, I’d go for it.

      Hassle mag-drive sa traffic ano!

      1. I agree with you. I’d gladly trade up my car if there were a simpler, convenient and safe option. As it stands now, I’d have to wait for a jeep which brings me to another terminal to take a bus which takes me to a jeep that takes me to the LRT. It’s a 3 hour exercise some of which are under the elements if not in crowded unsanitary and unsafe spaces.

  4. As usual, stopgap solutions are preferred because they refuse to do the in-depth, truly necessary and effective solutions. The solutions stare them in the face, but they say, “tomorrow nalang.”

  5. Let’s recap what MMDA Chairman Tolentino has done for us.

    Being a biker, Tolentino invented the motorcycle lanes, delimited by blue lines right in the MIDDLE of the road. Those lanes are now largely ignored by the very users they were created for. Worse, this pushes slow-moving cars to the innermost (leftmost) lanes, forcing faster vehicles to overtake on the outer lane. This is the exact OPPOSITE of our existing traffic laws and practice.

    Tolentino also implemented a program to “green” EDSA. This scheme involved putting up plastic planters along the sides of the underpasses at Shaw Boulevard and Cubao. Apparently, the MMDA keeps forgetting to water the things. Now we are left with a rather ghastly sight of withered plants lining the walls as you travel from Makati to Quezon City. Depressing.

    News coverage of some rather gruesome accidents caused by bus drivers prompted Tolentino to impose a 60 kph limit on Commonwealth Avenue and Macapagal Boulevard. These wide, well paved roadways are now subject to the daily, excruciating grind of a slow motion tableau of cars. Instead of finding ways to optimize the use of our streets, Tolentino opted to turn them into parking lots.

    Tolentino engaged in a blame game with the DPWH complaining that the department failed to deliver on flood control projects. It didn’t help his cause that it was the MMDA that held up approval for the most urgent projects which were left unfinished by the time the rains came. Tolentino’s response? Rubber boats and rescue teams where the roads become impassable due to rain. Metro Manila will still be under water but now you have the chance of being saved from drowning.

    And now his latest boneheaded scheme seeks to solve the traffic congestion by removing the vehicles from the roads.


    1. “Metro Manila will still be under water but now you have the chance of being saved from drowning.”

      rofl! I read this with my morning coffee and it just made my day…

      “And now his latest boneheaded scheme seeks to solve the traffic congestion by removing the vehicles from the roads.”

      lol! You’ve got to hand it to the guy, it does sound good in theory. What’s the best way to remedy overpopulation? REMOVE THE PEOPLE! LMAO!

      1. Yah! Only in da Philippines will somebody dream up a brilliant solution to the traffic problem that involves torpedoing the economy.

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