Opinion Post: Skyway 3

Technically speaking, we’re not talking about the third Skyway (Wiki) here, but this refers to the third stage of the Skyway construction, which is supposed to connect the north and south Luzon expressways. People are all in a tizzy over this because of the heavy traffic that this is expected to cause.

If you believe the government, they’ll tell you that they’ve prepared for the heavy traffic that the construction will bring.

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But others are quick to criticize.

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There are those who seem to believe that this project is not the solution to our traffic problems.

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And last, but certainly not the least, there will always be Filipinos who find the good in everything.

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My personal take on the matter is that while I am not as affected by the heavy traffic this will cause as the Manileños, I do sympathize with them. I DID live in the metro for most of my life, and I still shuttle back and forth the city a few weekends a month, so I can imagine how big an impact this will make on the daily commute of people. I was in the metro when the first two stages of the Skyway were being constructed, and traffic really WAS heavy back then, so this is a valid point of concern for most people.

That being said, I agree with Mr. Lourd De Veyra (see his tweet above) that the country needs a better public transportation system more than new roads. This seems to just empower and encourage people to acquire private vehicles, and while there is nothing inherently wrong in that, the government seems to have “reacted” once again to the situation instead of thinking of the long term. As Mr. Felino Palafox, Jr. said quite succinctly in this interview, the new Skyway will just attract more cars. A greater need is to address the pedestrians and commuters who form the majority of employees in this country. Not many people can afford cars and therefore rely on public transportation. This need has been neglected for such a long time already but is only gaining some attention now because of the number of buses involved in accidents that have been reported on TV. The problem is that all the authorities seem to be doing now is suspend bus companies. A motion to require PUV drivers to undergo training has gotten most of my friends and I going, “They only think of this NOW?!”

Seriously. I wish people here would plan better. I wish people here were proactive instead of reactive.

But what can I do? (This is a serious question, not a rhetorical one.)

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