Time for ‘solve PH traffic crisis’ challenge

Editorial cartoon by Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 16 2019 12:22 AM | Updated as of Oct 17 2019 08:22 PM

Time for ‘solve PH traffic crisis’ challenge

Presidential Spokesperson Sal Panelo's "commute challenge" was so symbolic of how much the Philippines has fallen behind in modernizing its transport facilities.

That he chose to ride a jeepney for his trip to the presidential palace shows how backward our transport system still is. 

The jeepney, with mostly reconditioned Japanese engines, has been with us for more than 7 decades. 

Had the Philippines been able to modernize its transport system, most people should be traveling by trains, the most efficient mode of transport, especially for a country with a population of over 100 million.

Renowned architect and urban planner Jun Palafox traces Metro Manila's "catastrophic traffic" to the fact that most post-war administrations have done little or done nothing to modernize our transport systems.

He lamented that many of the plans put forward decades ago, such as having 8 light rail transit lines in Metro Manila plus a subway system, were not done as had been planned. 

The Duterte administration should be given credit for including key transport projects in its Build Build Build infrastructure program. 

But the traffic crisis will definitely get worse as these much-delayed transport projects are undertaken. 

Everyone should thus now work together in finding ways to alleviate the traffic-transport crisis. 

Among the good ideas put forward by Palafox are an elevated walkway along EDSA, cable cars from Antipolo to Ortigas, more pedestrian and bike lanes, water taxis along rivers, and low-cost housing in business districts so people are closer to their work places.

We're done with the "commute challenge." 

It's time to have a traffic solutions challenge, reach a consensus on the best ideas, and implement them.