So, the face-to-face classes are back this Monday so expect the inevitable heavy traffic situation that is so rampant these days.
A government agency came out with data recently that shows a big increase in the traffic volume with the resumption of classes this Monday. From the estimate of 390,000 vehicles that travel along the Epifanio de los Santos (EDSA) highway these days, it is expected to jump to 440,000 by Monday. This is way above the 405,000 average during the pre-pandemic days in 2019.
Another data you might want to add is the total of 182,687 brand new vehicles that were sold locally from January to July, which is a big 18.4 percent jump from the total month-to-month compared last year. This July alone, a whopping 27,813 brand new vehicles were gobbled up by the motorists. A big chunk of them are now plying the Metro Manila area.
A long-range program is needed to resolve the burgeoning traffic problem in the metro, not just “band-aid solutions” that are being implemented as an added burden to the local motorists.
The priority should be the addition of bigger roads in order to decongest most of our major thoroughfares – EDSA, C5, and C3 for example. They need to continue dismantling those obstructions – parked vehicles, businesses that crept into the side of the roads, erected house walls, and many others – in all roads that are being used for traffic and make sure that they don’t go back.
With the addition of populations – people and vehicles – in the metro, there needs to be additional roads to be added. You cannot stop the people from buying vehicles since that is practically suppressing the economic recovery – more vehicle buyers, more taxes to be generated and more business for the economy.
With enough enforcers on the road just manning the free flow of traffic all over, there is no need for the “no-contact apprehension.” Traffic officers need not bother to apprehend motorists left and right since they just impede the free flow of traffic. One traffic enforcer apprehending a single motorist is a big problem already for those who are at the back since they block a big chunk of the road. Imagine various enforcers apprehending motorists in many thoroughfares during the rush hour, that’s terrible since they slow down the free flow of traffic.
There’s no need for a rocket scientist to resolve this traffic mess. You just need common sense.
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Aside from the on-and-off computer malfunctions that disrupt the many field offices of the Land Transportation Office these days, a friend called us to divulge that he also experienced and saw first-hand the deteriorating and stinking facilities of one besides the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
According to him, most of those who waited for hours when the computer reportedly conked out sweated out profusely because of the sweltering hot and humid condition at the waiting area. When he went to pee, he was aghast to see a cramped, mosquito-filled, water-less, and very smelly comfort room at the creepy second floor of the aged building.
It should not be like this especially for one major government agency which is one of the most visited every day. It’s about time that the LTO should entertain the idea of transferring their field offices to major malls in the metro, which many government offices had already done. NBI and police clearances, SSS, GSIS, Pag-IBIG inquiries, and even passports can now be acquired in major malls where the convenience of the customers is a priority.
Setting aside the multi-billion on the never-ending issue of computerization at the LTO, the comfort of the people renewing their licenses and car registrations should be taken into consideration. Setting up satellite offices inside the commercial malls could be a good idea and relatively cheap in terms of rentals for the LTO. And fixers (who are in the guise of “assistants” are still very much alive in most of the LTO field offices) can now be eliminated totally since they are a no-no inside the malls.