No Single Driver rule on EDSA is sweet revenge for Manila’s long-suffering commuting public

The No Single Driver rule. It’s the bane of the miniscule minority of Filipino private motorists who can afford to tool around Metro Manila alone in their own personal cars. With the implementation today of this rule along EDSA today, one can expect only a small proportion of EDSA users to be up in arms. This would be the chi-chi community of privileged brats who think nothing of occupying five times their fair share of Manila’s road space (seven or eight even if they happen to be driving solo in one of those monster SUVs).

For the majority of Metro Manila’s commuting community, it will be sweet vindication. Public transport users are a true community. They share common facilities and take up space that is just right for their needs and no more. This is where we will be seeing whether the Philippines’ village-raised nun-educated “social justice warriors” (SJWs) are able to walk their talk when it comes to being true participants in efforts to build a just and egalitarian society. Thus it will be worth watching what the noisiest among these SJWs will be saying on the social media posts they will be tapping off their iPads while sipping their 200-peso lattes at the local Starbucks.

More importantly, it will be a test of the authenticity of the rhetoric spewed by the Philippines’ army of politicians and talking heads. Back several years I posed the question, How can Metro Manila ever improve if Filipino politicians do not take public transport?

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.

And…

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.

If we can make this call to our politicians then, certainly, we can make an identical call to those SJWs, social media “influencers”, and the sunshines among the country’s top “thought leaders” to step up to the same challenge. It does not have to be that hard. The rule, after all, involves just a prescribed number of vehicle occupants within small timeslots over just several days in every week. Surely Filipinos who routinely pepper their rhetoric with the words “sacrifice” and “resilience” are up to the task.

Rich people, however, have a wealth of resources to employ to the game of circumventing this and other such rules. Those who employ chauffeurs, for example, get away scot-free. Many are already, as I write this, fashioning dummies and mannequins into faux passengers to keep them company in their precious Subarus. Other more enterprising bozos plan to make a killing importing and selling these dummies to these folks. It is in this light that there is a need for Filipinos who plan to contribute their share to this initiative to be vigilant. For the Philippines to become a truly just society, small acts of fairness need to be ingrained in the Filipino psyche.

One can debate the pros and cons of the new No Single Driver Rule on EDSA ’til kingdom come. But those who focus on that are likely to be those who fail to see the bigger point — that those who are the most adversely-impacted by this initiative — motorists who routinely drive solo in big cars — are the ones who have the least right to complain. It’s time Filipinos realise that the true measure of a great society is how much its most privileged citizens are willing to contribute to the uplift of public space and to use this public space fairly with the greater public.

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28 Comments on “No Single Driver rule on EDSA is sweet revenge for Manila’s long-suffering commuting public”

  1. HOV encompasses all cars, not just BIG cars.

    Office workers who own cars will be incentivised now to offer rides to their colleagues who commute. Bayanihan on the road anyone. This should be a very positive change(I do hope so).

    1. While this does incentivise solo commuters to offer lifts, it is really restricted to people they know who live and work nearby and travel at reliably similar times.

      Was there not a ‘ride-sharing app’ that would have been ideal for this situation? I think it was called Uber or something similar. Whatever happened to it?

      On a less sarcastic note, is it beyond the imagination of MMDA or some similar body to license Uber’s technology and set up a ride-sharing service? I suppose that by the time it has passed 3 committees, awaited a budget to include it, negotiated the license and purchased and installed the equipment, it will be well into the next president’s term, so no short-term appearance of doing something.

      1. But if we could contribute carpooling or ride sharing service, there might be a disadvantage as well especially if Filipinos are fond of “palusot” (or excuse) like in the case of Jakarta, Indonesia where a driver could get 2 or more “jockeys” in order to not to get apprehended by the authorities there on their 3-in-1 vehicle rule: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/04/end-of-the-road-jakartas-passengers-for-hire-targeted-by-carpooling-crackdown

        In order to solve the traffic problems in Metro Manila in a GREAT solutions are the following:

        1) Decrease the population of this city & go to a cleaner & spacious city like this one, the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac: https://newclarkcityph.com/

        2) Build more mass transportation like subways, trains, BRTs, etc., etc.

        3) Built a smart tunnels/flyovers like this one from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: https://www.amusingplanet.com/2013/05/smart-tunnel-in-kuala-lumpur-storm.html

        4) Limit the ownership of vehicles for every private individuals like in the case of Singapore: https://arstechnica.com/cars/2017/10/singapore-is-capping-the-number-of-private-cars/

        5) Citizens should use ecological, ergonomic & economic friendly vehicles like bicycles, e-trikes, e-scooters, etc. or go on a walk or skating on the streets.

  2. You cannot hope for Filipino politicians, to abide in the “no single driver rule”, or to take public transport vehicles. There is unmanageable problem in the transport system. Filipino over population, and the “pasikatan” mentality of Filipinos. Those who own cars, are thought to be on the “high list” in the “high class” people in our society. The rest, who take public transports have to suffer, because they are the “low class” of Indios.

    Politicians are afraid to take public transport system. The public will vent their fury against them for their corruption and incompetence, which resulted in the sufferings of most of us.

    We have to “Wait and See” , if this no single driver program will work. It may have worked in California, U.S.A. However, it may not work in the Philippines. The Left Fast lanes on the Highways in California, are for no single drivers. The remaining lanes , are virtual Parking Lots.

    1. We carpooled. I dropped them off one by one until only one is left. Me. The driver. I was pulled over why I was alone in the car during peak hours. I explained. Explanation not good. Got a warning. Got a ticket.

      I love Philippines.

  3. This article reads like North Korean inspired communist hogwash.

    The truth of the matter is those who own private cars and drive contribute more to society via taxes in a disproportionate amount. It’s their work which moves the economy forward. And their taxes being stolen.

    The average commuter doesn’t pay any taxes at all or the absolute bare minimum amount of tax. In case you don’t know if you earn minimum wage you hardly pay any taxes.

    The truth is any person would commute if commuting is a legitimate option. Any RATIONAL person would avoid commuting in the Philippines. Also as a member of the chi-chi club you mentioned, I take the bus from Alabang to Makati. Then grab to work in ortigas. Now gov’t is taking away ride-sharing options.

    Egalitarian society where everyone is equal and everyone suffers. FAIL.

  4. When I am driving to work (or anywhere else), I want to listen to MY music (radio/CD player/MP3 player); I want to fart and belch; I want to pick my nose and even make a mess in my car. What I dont want is to listen to those stories told by collegues I have to take with me because of that ‘new’ measure/policy.

    In short: it wont work.

    1. When I commute in Manila I wear my over-the-ear headset. Blast my music. Backpack in front. Nothing in my backpocket.

  5. Hahaha! I share Robert’s sentiments, personally speaking. Measures that severely affect personal space is really a big no for me.

    The truth is any person would commute if commuting is a legitimate option. Any RATIONAL person would avoid commuting in the Philippines. Also as a member of the chi-chi club you mentioned, I take the bus from Alabang to Makati. Then grab to work in ortigas. Now gov’t is taking away ride-sharing options.

    There’s the rub, isn’t it? Government is unable to make commuting a good option at the very least, causes more people who, through hard work and dedication, earn better buy cars and drive to work and to places they want to go to that are too far for a walk. City roads and highways become more congested. Government still unable to make commuting a good option. Therefore, car owners get punished by government.

    The only good thing I see from this, personally, is that when I am forced to commute, I get to walk longer which is good for the body.

    1. I fail to see how walking in Manila’s SMOKE filled streets is good for the body.

      Staying outside to commute is like smoking an extra pack of cigarettes. BAD for you.

        1. Your comment is so dumb. Buy a mask. Lol.

          Why don’t I go on a treadmill?

          Walking outside in Manila is HAZARDOUS to your health. Commuting is HAZARDOUS to your health.

          If I work hard for my car and pay taxes more than the average JUAN TAMAD TAMBAY what right does the govt have to take that away.

          I’m tired of people coddling the unproductive for the sake of the productive job creators.

        2. Your comment is so dumb. Buy a mask. Lol.

          Why don’t I go on a treadmill?

          Which do you think is much cheaper, Einstein?

          And the body is designed to walk. Don’t tell me you need to drive to reach a store that is a few yards away?

          Walking outside in Manila is HAZARDOUS to your health. Commuting is HAZARDOUS to your health.

          So is driving. Chcck the statistics. Your point? You might as well live in a literal bubble your entire life. ~chuckle~

          If I work hard for my car and pay taxes more than the average JUAN TAMAD TAMBAY what right does the govt have to take that away.

          Driving is a privilege. It is not a right and it is not a basic human right. THINK FOR A BIT.

          Buying a car does not mean you instantly have the privilege to drive. You need a driver’s license.

          I’m tired of people coddling the unproductive for the sake of the productive job creators.

          YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE. But that is not a good reason to be intellectually lazy.

    2. When I came to work in the Philippines I get confused with the word “commuting”. “commutiing” to Filipinos means “riding mass transport” or, help me here, “driving a car?”. To this day when a Filipino tells me they are “commuting” my brain just totally shuts down. Maybe short-circuited because of too much thinking what they really menat?

  6. “No solo driver/passenger” should be implemented in peak hours. These old-rich, noveau riche and children-born-with-silver-spoon should ride along with the rest of the sweaty masses. School buses should be implemented so is school lunches. There should be student/child care in school grounds for parents to pick them up after work hours.

    Think Filipinos. Think ! On the other hand be cautious when Filipinos are allowed to think because when Filipinos think the outcome is SCArrrrrry !!!!

    1. Those sweaty masses are the REASON the Philippines is such a dump in the first place.

      They are incredibly unproductive, have almost zero skills apart from the most basic, breed like f— rabbits.

      Punishing the rich , talented and productive pushes them out. Capital is global. Ayala/ mpi/ jg summit all have assets abroad.

      Soon you would have a hallowed out state where everyone is poor. EGALITARIAN society like Venezuela.

      Be more educated. FAIL!

  7. Here are the constants in road widening:

    1. Build it and we will drive solo
    2. Widen it, we also drive solo
    3. Build more of it, the more people drive

    If you add all of the above principle the result is GRIDLOCK !!!

    Solution: MARTIAL LAW. Ban private vehicles during weekdays.

    If there is MARTIAL LAW. People protest because they’d rather be stuck in Gridlock than have Martial Law. As if there is a solution of Gridlock outside of Martial Law. Filipinos should realize that they cannot ram a square peg in a round hole. Unfortunately, majority of Filipinos with their low intelligence believe they can do ram it in.

    1. This is another DUMB comment. I dunno why the solution is always more martial law. What makes you think the next filipino dictator wont be another Marcos? Another CHAVEZ ? Another KIM JUN UN???

      LAZY BLUNT FORCE THINKING.

      FAIL

      Taxes the rich evil drivers paid were STOLEN. Those were supposed to be used to build ROADS. We are 30 years BEHIND in infrastructure that’s why we are always building.

      Why don’t we just go into military rule and be like NORTH KOREA?!?!? That seems to be your thinking.

      FAIL!

      1. TOTAL FAIL ! Martial Rule is good for Filipinos because democracy failed them. Filipinos have been testing and playing with democracy since I arrived in the Philippines and nothing happened. It is same o corrupt and crookery.

        If Democracy fails, try communism. It may work. Provided they have a good dictator.

        1. Most communist states FAIL.

          You show your ignorance. There’s NO SUCH THING AS A “GOOD DICTATOR”

          For all the faults of the Philippines , it is still leagues better than NORTH KOREA, VENEZUELA and IRAN.

          WHY DONT YOU GO THERE INSTEAD?!

  8. No Single Driver Rule. Yes … there should be two drivers in a car … all cars in the Philippines should be installed with extra mano-bela to make it safer …

    Gracias …

    In the 1stWorld countries they only have one driver …. not two …

  9. Filipinos buy the biggest SUV possible if they can afford it, even better – buying a pick-up designed for farmers while living in Metro Manila…yes, the cargo bed is really useful in a crowded city.
    DO NOT tax cars based on value. Tax them on engine size and emissions!

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