Traffic in EDSA, a very important national road in Metro Manila, wasn’t as bad back in the day. In fact, the only traffic setback people worried about in the 70s were intersections in Cubao and Ortigas. Drivers were still able enjoy the power of their vehicle’s engines.
Today, this is not the case. Traffic in Metro Manila has become unbearable for all Filipinos. Not only does it affect all drivers’ moods, it also affects our economy. According to a 2014 report of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Philippines is losing a whooping ₱3.5 billion a day due to traffic. If not addressed immediately, it will increase to ₱5.4 billion by 2035.
This is one of the few reasons why the government has been trying to come up with several policies and resolutions that may possibly help mitigate traffic woes in the city, one of which is the Driver-Only Ban. This policy encourages all car drivers to avoid passing through EDSA if they are alone, especially during rush hours.
No matter how good the intentions were, the policy drew flak and criticism. Filipinos worry about how to go about their daily commute to work or school. It’s also common knowledge that the country’s transportation system is very far from ideal. The Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 alone operates with only 12 trains, while there are about more than 250,000 passengers daily, making it difficult to commute all the more. Although some may say that there are still other options like buses or jeepneys, most still find it a hassle to compete with other commuters.
Despite this , the Metro Manila Council (MMC) and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) implemented the resolution last August 23 in the hopes that the traffic congestion will ease for all Filipinos. Around 3,000 drivers were caught violating the policy on its first dry run. Senators, however, urged the resolution to be suspended and asked the implementing bodies to further study the scheme. However, the MMC refused to do so.
The dry-run is still ongoing and the MMC and MMDA have yet to set an actual implementation date. Although there are still a large number of driver-only vehicles passing through EDSA, reports show that there has been a steady decrease since the dry-run.
Whether in agreement with the resolution or not, keep in mind that following road rules and regulations is important. Not following may cause more inconvenience than you’d like. It’s also advisable to stay calm and patient while traversing EDSA to avoid getting aggressive, encountering a road rager, or getting into any unfortunate incident. Better yet, ensure your safety and protection by availing a car insurance from the Philippines’ leading non-life insurance company, Malayan Insurance. Malayan Automaster offers an extensive car insurance policy in the Philippines. After all, there’s nothing better than to insure to be sure.