Welcome to the series, Issue Spotlight, where we tackle the issues that the electoral candidates will likely to discuss on campaign period. Previously, we had the first post for Behavior Spotlight, a series of articles highlighting the signature Filipino traits, both positive and negative. Now, for this series, let us discuss the country’s most prominent issues.
To start, let me illustrate a commuter’s typical travel in Epifanio de los Santos Avenue.
So we have a not much lowly worker based on Mandaluyong. He has to travel from his hometown in Calamba to his site in the Ortigas business district for around three hours. Luckily, there is a bus terminal taking him to Cubao, with a convenient queue that takes almost fifteen minutes of his time to wait for another bus to arrive. As the bus arrives for roughly twenty minutes, he has to wait for ten-ish minutes for the bus to prepare travel.
Once the bus is on the road, he calmly rests on his seat, as the travel goes smoothly as he expected but soon slows down from a bottlenecked part of the highway. It cost him nearly an hour just to escape the tree-headed highway. Though, the traffic ranges from mobilizing to halting.
As he spotted the Metropolis by the distance, he is delighted to see the sight of the Metro, allowing him more time to chill. But another bottlenecked route is stumbled upon because of a road construction, as shown by road cones closing one lane. As his ride traverses through the highway, the traffic builds up. So this resorts the bus to take the upper highway. But still, another queue of vehicles is stumbled upon. Yet, that highway is a breath of fresh air from its spectacular bird’s eye view.
After a relieving travel, the bus stumbles upon another huge traffic volume. This time, it is assured that these vehicles are entering the country’s most notorious roadway. The man checks his watch; he learns that he has only an hour before calltime. But he is hopeful he will reach his destination on time. The traffic volume builds up more and more. He observes that many vehicles swerve to lanes with lighter traffic, causing the traffic to get heavier.
However, his bus stops by a waiting shed, prompting the driver to call in more passengers. The man grows offended by this but he decided not to let his anger get the best of him. The lane where the bus picks up passengers is filled with overloading buses. The bus at the front – an ordinary bus, if you will – is on standby for passengers.
After twenty-five minutes in the other business district, the bus traverses through sluggish traffic. The man has enough jam on his bag. He can only stare at his window, seeing street vendors passing through the middle and passengers passing by. After ten minutes, the bus stumbles upon an intersection with a countdown stoplight controlling the traffic. However, he discovers that the stoplight feel unused as he spots a traffic enforcer controlling the traffic. So it becomes a mishmash of what to follow.
Finally, he arrives at his stop, still blocked by public transportation. As the bus door opened, he rushes to his destination as he has only fifteen minutes to spare. The man has to take an FX traversing inside Ortigas. But as he expected, the traffic is heavy. Not wanting the traffic to occupy his mind for the remainder of the day, he scoots it off to a brief nap. But he gets frustrated for the fact that the traffic is composed of swerving vehicles, sneaky motorcycles and parked vehicles near the sidewalk.
And finally he arrives at work, nearly five minutes late. This man’s story is just one of the many stories for everyday commuters. People blame traffic for this detriment. But it is more than just traffic. There are factors to discuss but that is for another article. Stay tuned for that.