Several business groups in the Philippines have offered their own solutions to the monstrous traffic problem in Metro Manila. They, too, are stakeholders in the road congestion that has hampered the productivity of their workers.
The Makati Business Club, the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines and the Joint Foreign Chambers backed up the recommendations earlier tabled by the Management Association of the Philippines in solving traffic and transportation problems in the metropolis.
The MAP has proposed the designation of a traffic czar to handle all matters related to traffic and road management and the appointment of a specially-trained Highway Patrol Group of the Philippine National Police to enforce rules.
The traffic czar presumably will be given greater authority to solve the traffic mess, including the forcible removal of physical structures that have occupied major roads in Metro Manila.
The business groups want the traffic czar to introduce engineering refinements in the roads such as bus lane delineators along Edsa and other major national roads to increase efficiency and optimize the limited road space.
MAP, meanwhile, called on the government to speed up the upgrade and capacity expansion of the MRT-3 transport system, as well as the conversion of existing major national roads into expressways. Foremost among these roads are Edsa, C-5, Roxas Blvd., Diosdado Macapagal Ave., Katipunan, Commonwealth, Buendia, Shaw Blvd., Ortigas Ave. and Quezon Ave.
The business groups also want authorities to improve the resiliency of all national major and radial roads against floods and urged contractors to expedite repairs to eliminate the bottlenecks in intersections.
The proposals of the private sector seem plausible, although some of the recommendations may take time to implement. In the meantime, the appointment of a traffic czar with complete authority should be seriously considered. Vehicle drivers in the Philippines, especially those in charge of public transportation, are an undisciplined lot. The traffic czar should send them back to the driving school to educate them about road courtesy and observing traffic rules.