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Top Gear Philippines

Traffic congestion in the Philippines

Traffic is so bad these days that even the head of the agency tasked to manage it is now attempting to personally direct vehicle flow. The country's top leader, however, wants realistic solutions, not PR stunts.

Today, President Aquino discussed the possibility of bringing back the odd-even scheme in an attempt to reduce the number of motor vehicles on the road. The President mentioned the prospect during his speech at the Rizal Technological University in Mandaluyong:

Malapit nang ipresenta sa akin ang iba't ibang plano para maibsan ang siksikan ng mga sasakyan. Ang akin po: Ang pinakaradikal dito ay hatiin ang bilang ng bumibiyaheng sasakyan--salitan ang pagbabaybay ng odd at even na plaka sa ating mga kalsada kada linggo. Pihadong luluwang ang trapik dahil kalahati ng sasakyan ang mawawala, pero sigurado pong marami na namang aalma dahil hindi magagamit ang kotse nila. Ganyan po ang kinakaharap natin. Sa paglaban sa baha, hanggang paglalatag ng imprastruktura, at maging sa pagsasaayos ng trapiko, ang namamayaning kaisipan ay ganito: "Okay kami sa solusyon, okay kami sa konstruksiyon, huwag lang kami ang maiipit sa implementasyon."

Word has it that if this pushes through, the government is looking at November 15 this year to January 15 next year as the implementation period for said traffic-management scheme.

The odd-even scheme (50%) will theoretically remove more vehicles on the road than the current number-coding scheme (20%). But the operative word there is "theoretically." The bottom line is still the need for strict implementation of traffic rules. There's no point installing a new scheme if motorists are still able to get away with using their vehicles on days they shouldn't--just because they know they can weasel their way out of a penalty by handing out bribes.

And perhaps most important: What is the alternative transportation means that government is proposing? With our public transport system in a chaotic mess, we can expect private-car owners to be up in arms about this latest proposal.

What are your thoughts on this?

Photo from Jerry Cheng


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