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Is the government helpless against worsening traffic in Metro Manila?

February 13, 2024

MANILA – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) recently presented to media its new Communications and Command Center (CCC) in Pasig City, the biggest, most advanced facilities with new technologies.

Four hundred three (403) High-Definition CCTVs across critical and major infrastructure roads (including bus bays, waterways, pumping stations, and Baywalk Dolomite beach). These cameras will be equipped with facial recognition that can help with security and solving crimes. Also, adaptive, and sensor-based traffic lights linked by fiber optic systems operate the intelligent traffic signalization system while the new Hytera dispatch system uses GPS and a smart map to locate traffic enforcers in real time and receive live video feeds from their body worn cameras. Quite impressive and expensive for us taxpayers, however, the biggest question remains, will this new facility solve our worsening traffic?

Out of 387 cities in 55 countries, the 2023 Tom-tom index declared Metro Manila as the leader in Metro areas with slowest travel time. On average, it would take 25 minutes to travel 10 kilometers here. Manila is the ninth worst city center traffic with 27 minutes and travel time but better than leader London with 37 minutes. During rush hours, according to TomTom, Filipinos lost 117 hours due to traffic congestion in 2023. This was longer than 12 hours and 51 minutes compared to the situation in 2022, enough evidence that traffic is indeed worsening.

Last year there was a record number of 1.27 million new vehicles reported. New Motorcycles/scooters were at 104,445 units. This will further aggravate the present 3.54 million vehicles on our roads, which LTO says are already 1.56 million cars, and