We’ve heard it many times from locals and foreigners alike: Manila is a wonderful and beautiful place, but the traffic is absolutely terrible.
Despite efforts by government agencies, private groups, and some concerned citizens, it seems the situation is not letting up anytime soon—and it is all because of a simple reason: the lack of discipline and cooperation.
As we enter 2018, we look forward with hopeful eyes that Manila’s traffic dilemma would somehow be eased, what with all the plans to improve infrastructure and decongest the metro.
Meanwhile, we’ve compiled from some of our celebrity friends a little “wish list” of what they would want to see improved this year in our beloved city.
Despite being hailed as the Toyota Vios Cup champion celebrity driver for 2017, actor and model Dominic Roque admits he still prefers to commute to work everyday. As a regular on the MRT, he hopes that the government will be able to fast track all the planned improvements for mass transportation, particularly the MRT, which benefits thousands of commuters in Metro Manila alone.
“I still use the MRT until now and wish ko sana is ma-improve pa talaga ‘yung MRT and yung mass transportation [system] natin. Kasi it’s still the more convenient option and mas komportable pa nga ako [sa MRT] because it’s faster. It’s the only one I can think of sa ngayon, pero definitely ‘yung pag-improve ng mass transportation natin sobrang laking tulong na magagawa for all,” said Dominic.
A nature lover by design, actor and model Fabio Ide is greatly concerned by the disregard for air quality in Metro Manila. He points out seeing many vehicles on a daily basis along EDSA emitting black smoke, which is obviously harmful to the environment and public health.
He wonders everyday how these vehicles (mostly from the public transportation sector, as he observed) are able to pass smoke emissions tests despite having an active anti-smoke belching law in the country.
“I think the government should really inspect those vehicles, like they shouldn’t be allowed on the street if they haven’t been passed inspection,” Fabio said.
He’s also glad that the government is now imposing higher taxes for purchase of new vehicles as this may help ease the traffic situation for now, while we wait for new roads and public transportation systems to be built.
Having experienced driving on both public roads and race tracks, actress and performer Ella Cruz says she feels more safe racing with speedhunters than going out on EDSA on any given day.
Surprisingly, it’s not the heavy traffic that irks her but the demeanor of some drivers on the road.
“Alam mo ‘yung nakikita natin madalas sa Facebook na, not just kaskasero, pero ‘yung tipong na-cut mo lang konti tapos sobrang init na ng ulo? ‘Yung mga ganung [situation]. Dapat sa atin is [to have] patience, huwag dadaanin lahat sa init ng ulo kasi minsan ‘yun pa ‘yung nagiging cause ng mas mabigat na problema,” Ella said.
She also adds that people, not just drivers, should start disciplining themselves and be more mindful of simple traffic laws like not beating the red light or crossing the street only on designated pedestrian lanes and footbridges.
Recently taking up motorcycle lessons to finally fulfill a teenage dream, actor, model, and host Will Devaughn is excited to travel more often on two wheels this year.
As a new motorcycle enthusiast, he feels that his awareness about road safety and courtesy has become heightened; and he hopes that all drivers—regardless of what vehicle they’re driving—would be more mindful of other drivers on the road.
“A lot of the times dito sa Pilipinas, motorcycle riders don’t receive a lot of respect from car drivers, and vice versa. I think that has to change because it just makes more sense. We all need to respect one another on the road. There’s already enough traffic on the road as it is, so I guess respecting fellow motorists, and also the motorcycle and bicycle lane, is something very basic that we can do to make driving less of a hassle,” said Will.
How about you? What do you think should we all be working on this 2018 to improve the condition of our roads?