We are losing a lot (billions and lives) from traffic

It used to be that the Philippines is losing billions of pesos everyday from lost productivity due to traffic jams, particularly in Metro Manila; but now, it's Cebu's turn.

Every day, my total travel time is roughly 3+ hours (From home-Office). That means I could have spent those hours resting or doing other important endeavors. This also means we’re losing our time, opportunities and money.

Traffic is something that affects us all, whether you are rich or poor; from the private/public sector or business. Even the powerful are powerless when our roads are clogged (unless they fly).

Causes of Traffic

Failure to plan or execute the urban plan of the metropolis –
As populations and incomes grow, the more congested the city and roads get. Currently, there’s a huge backlog in almost all types of infrastructure – not just in Cebu. The government intends to invest in more roads, bridges, railways, air/seaports as well as public transportation systems -- but these take time.

The urban plan is not as simple as this as well, business that encroach sidewalks (abusive parking), blocking bridges & natural river pathways that causes floods, compounds the problem when rainy season comes.

Human Error and Behavior – people are part of the problem as well as the solution—traffic enforcers, drivers and commuters.

(1) Accidents occur due to many reasons and add to that the over capacity of our roads, one small accident can cause a bottleneck that affects a lot of people.

(2) Rules don’t implement themselves; our acquired habits and behavior causes a lot these too.

(3) Habits and behavior – PUJ, turn-lane, intersection, and pedestrian behaviors are also congestion-causing factors; not following traffic rules such as: beating the red light, no u-turns, un/loading, speeding, one-way..and on

Cost of Traffic

Now, I don't have the actual data and it’s also hard to put a monetary value on certain areas but here’s the list:

(1) Opportunity Costs – Productivity loss at work; loss of time spent with loved ones; loss of opportunities most of it are “Opportunity costs” wasted from wastage and productivity loss.

(2) Direct losses – Fuel/Electricity wastage, lost labor hours or even labor itself (they may decide to go back to their hometowns), OT of traffic aides;

(3) Indirect losses – withdrawal of potential foreign investments, missed business opportunities and reduced capital inflow.

(4) Loss of life – because traffic, more people will be in a hurry which may lead to more accidents & ambulances cannot pass easily as well. In the long run, one’s health maybe at risk due to greenhouse emissions (which also affects animals and nature).

You could say that these are just part of the ‘growth pains’ of a growing local and national economy but this does not excuse our predecessors (both government officials and citizens) from their sin of inaction.

There’s no use dwelling on the problems and what we need is be part of the solution. One of the things we can do is to be more patient (let go of worries), more disciplined in following traffic rules, push our officials to create job opportunities in the provinces, just to name a few.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Do not just wait on our government, like our parents or ancestors. You can contribute. One way is by learning/volunteering to Mega Cebu Initiative: fb.com/megacebu2050

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We are losing a lot (billions and lives) from traffic We are losing a lot (billions and lives) from traffic Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 Rating: 5

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