Beat traffic woes with your vote
SOLVE TRAFFIC where traffic is a monster.
Before we blame the increasing number of vehicles plying the major roads, traffic has already been dire and awful in the metropolis. Some 30 years ago, former president Cory Aquino appointed the able, then transportation secretary, Oscar Orbos as traffic czar, but for what compelling reason?
While it is true that the ever-ballooning population of cars, jeepneys, buses and trucks contributes to the continually worsening traffic mess in Metro Manila, it is not—repeat, not—the root cause. We may bring down this year, 2016, the number of vehicles to its 1986 level, yet traffic will still likely remain unresolved because we look too far searching for a solution when, in fact, it’s right under our very own noses.
Last Dec. 18, traffic was at a standstill for about seven long hours, leaving thousands of motorists, including myself, with the harrowing experience of traveling for three hours (9 p.m.-12 midnight) a less than half a kilometer stretch of España Street in Sampaloc, Manila. Exasperated, I got out of my car only to discover that the city of Manila has an absentee government in times of need. There had been a brief downpour, but España wasn’t flooded. And, gee, there were no traffic officers on intersections where vehicles got all jammed up.
The main problem, dear countrymen, lies in the apathy, inefficiency, corruption and incompetence of politicians and many of the government’s local and national officials. We may fill Metro Manila with every sort of skyways, railways and bridges, yet filling crooks’ pockets will be the one sure and clear “accomplishment.” We may embark in huge infrastructure projects to ease traffic congestions only to find out soon after their completion that we’re back to square one.
This is how expensive it is for the nation when it elects rascals and unqualified job-hunters/profit-seekers. In the coming elections, scratch the surface of each candidate’s character. Weigh heavily the sins and crimes of the unrepentant. Look within and deeply into their dramas. Hear beyond their songs. Consider new faces. And dump those who already spent several millions of pesos even before the campaign period officially starts; they have unhealthy, if not dark intentions. Let the well sparkle, and may the pure win.
Good traffic flow and your vote could mean the same thing.
—RENI M. VALENZUELA, email@example.com