#MUNIonThis: On the average, a commuter in Metro Manila spends 1,000 hours each year on the road. Commuters in well-planned cities in other parts of the world, however, spend only about 300 hours per year. It means Manila commuters are forced to waste 700 hours—or almost a month—in vehicles trapped on congested roads.
More so, results of a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency reveal that the Philippines would lose Php 6 billion daily due to traffic by 2030. That’s a lot of money that could already fund social services like hospital care, additional classrooms, and wage increase.
With the inefficient mass transport systems and affordable deals offered by manufacturers, it really is tempting to buy a new car. Apparently, many have succumbed as car sales continue to grow each year.
According to the data gathered by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc., 288,609 units were sold in 2015.
The increasing number of cars traveling on the roads of Metro Manila has caused gridlock, leading to long unproductive hours of commuters.
Sadly, it is not just an issue of wasted hours on the road as the Metro Manila traffic also contributes to carbon dioxide emissions posing serious health threats. In addition, commuters and pedestrians have become more at risk to accidents. Records of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) show that over 100,000 traffic accidents were recorded in 2016.
Dealing with urban gridlock
While real, sustainable solutions would require new policies and additional infrastructure, you can also do your part in beating Manila traffic.
Learn more from the stories and insights of experts and advocates on what can be done at the MUNI Meetup on Beating Manila Traffic.
“It is important that people are aware of the problem and that they can do something about it. To beat Manila traffic, the game is really about changing public perception. We have to change consumer behavior and reimagine our transport systems,” says Roy Joseph R. Roberto, Regional Director for Southeast Asia, Climate Tracker.
Robert Siy, Senior Advisor at the Department of Transportation, notes that people should improve their mobility and should not solely depend on using motorized vehicles.
Val Simon Roque Director, Division for Environment & Climate Change, Department of Foreign Affairs, shares the same sentiment and urges the public to start using bicycle when traveling on short distances.
Meanwhile, Alex Yague Jr., Executive Director of Provincial Bus Operators Association, thinks that “improving the efficiency of public transportation is the key in solving the current traffic situation”. He adds that educating the public on other transportation options such as the Point to Point (P2P) buses is important.
Related reads: • Learning Events at MUNI Market 2017 on April 8-9 • Decongest Manila: On Mobility, Mindset & the Automotive Industry • How To Boost Courage for the Cowardly Bike-commuter • How Citizens Can Help Redesign Sustainable Cities