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Tolentino: Waze may be right

Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino admitted that the National Capital Region lacks a modern trasport system to address the worsening traffic in the metropolis.

The MMDA chief spoke in reaction to the latest global survey showing Manila as the top city with the worst traffic with Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, and Jakarta not far behind.

“What we are saying is that Waze [report] may be right because we lack a modern mass trasport system. The railroad system in Metro Manila is only 73 kilometers and we don’t have alternate routes,” he said.

By country, the Philippines was ranked ninth worst, with a score of 3.9. El Salvador

(2.1) and Guatemala (3.0) offered “the worst driving experiences in the world,” due to frequency and severity of traffic jams, lack of driver services, and poor road infrastructure.

The Netherlands topped the list with the best driving experiences in the world with 7.9 rating followed by Latvia (7.3), the Unites States (7.2), Sweden (7.2), Czech Republic (7.1), Belgium (7.0), France (6.9), Italy (6.8), Hungary (6.8) and Slovakia (6.7).

“I read that and we encourage that kind of report. Netherlands ranked number one. The population there is 16.8 million while Metro Manila is 16.5 million, makikita po sa density di po nagkakalayo. But we don’t have [modern] mass transport system compared to Netherlands,” said Tolentino.

According to Tolentino, the MMDA is pushing the planned 51-kilometer subway system in the country to ease traffic congestion in the metropolis.

The project’s feasibility study is being conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in close coordination with the Department of Transportation and Communications and National Economic and Development Authority.

Meanwhile, Tolentino said he is still encouraging motorists to use video cameras to record and document perceived illegal activities by MMDA traffic enforcers and employees to “help attain a disciplined society, and also for evidentiary purposes.”

Tolentino reiterated his call days after various sectors criticized him for saying that motorists who video taped MMDA traffic enforcers may be held liable under the Anti-Wiretapping Law.

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