Who can fix traffic, transport problem?


James Deakin

So we have two weeks or so left before we elect a new administration. No doubt you’ve seen the hysteria on the streets — and of course on social media — with each camp pumping one fist in the air claiming to be the saviors of our nation, while the other hand slings mud and dirt on their opponents.
There are countless rallies, concerts and debates screaming the same message — but what amazes me here is, none of these camps have any solution about something as basic as traffic and creating a better transport experience for anyone but themselves.

They will talk about the economy, foreign policy, Covid response, infrastructure and a ton of other issues, but none have ever come up with a concrete solution to solve the traffic and transport crisis that we are in. And it makes you wonder. If they can’t fix something as basic as this, what hope have they got fixing anything else?

Think about it. Traffic, transport and road safety are the most democratic issues affecting any country. Because this is something that affects us all regardless of race, religion or socio economics. From the street sweeper to the CEO, or even president of the country, we all have to share this space at some point. It’s literally where we all connect.

So if you can’t instill discipline and order and efficiency there, you’ve got no chance doing it for anything else because it’s what underpins everything. Try telling someone they need to be efficient and polite and professional at work, when they have to kick, push and curse their way just to get there. Bit of a contradiction, wouldn’t you say?

Look at the latest debacle with the provincial busses. How exactly can the presidentiables expect to convince these voters that they can run a country and create jobs for them when you can’t even organize the busses that get them to the office? Serious question.

So I call on these candidates to start offering real solutions to real problems at the ground level (our roads) before virtue signaling on all the other issues because none of it will mean anything if people can’t move. This is beyond a joke already. Some people are spending more time getting to and from work than they are actually working. And that’s just not acceptable. And to add insult to injury, we get out-of-touch appointed officials that treat us like lab rats and keep experimenting with one failed hair brain scheme after another (like the ridiculous two-to-three-day-a-week coding proposals and the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. provincial bus fiasco that just add to the misery of the Filipino commuter and road user.

Start demanding solutions from your leaders BEFORE you vote for them. Ask them HOW will they fix this and WHEN. And then hold them to it. Don’t fall for the distractions. We’ve seen what happened to the economy because of lockdown. Traffic is another form of lockdown. And it needs a vaccine. Only question is—who of our presidential candidates want to take a jab at it?