'Filipinos lose 9 to 15 years of their lives sitting in traffic'— Arch. Palafox

'Filipinos lose 9 to 15 years of their lives sitting in traffic'— Arch. Palafox



Take it from the expert!
Did you know that an average Filipino commuter will sit through traffic to a cumulative nine years of their working prime sitting and waiting it out in traffic, this is according to esteemed urban planner specialist Arch. Felino “Jun” Palafox.

"[I]f you have 40 years of economic life with the five to six hours a day [of commuting,] you would have wasted 28,000 to 40,000 hours, that's at least nine to fifteen years taken from your life," Palafox said.
Sad state of the daily bumper to bumper traffic in Manila
(photo credit to owner)


A data from the World Health Organization (WHO) which was published in 2018 said that the total life expectancy in the Philippines for both women and men is 69.3 years.
In a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group in 2017 it showed that Manila’s traffic congestion cost motorists an average of an hour lost in in traffic every day, putting it at third worst in Southeast Asia. 

A similar study was conducted by the Japanese, Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2018 said traffic now costs the Philippines P3.5 billion in "lost opportunities" daily. The amount is expected to triple in number by the year 2030.


When asked about president Duterte’s push for infrastructure projects Palafox said that, "I think all of these recommendations will alleviate the situation but it will not solve the problem."
"Traffic management is not enough," Palafox asserted of the many proposed solutions relating to congestion. "How do you manage lack of roads [and] lack of transport? We start with urban planning and land use, because land use is the demand side of traffic."


Do nothing or do little

Palafox explains that the problem regarding the mass transportation crisis has been identified as early as 43 years ago, yet past administrations choose to do nothing because of politics in urban planning.

The work on a number of infrastructure projects only officially began when Rodrigo Duterte became President, despite these proposals have been known 10 years ago, explains Palafox.
Asked for the cause of delays, Palafox said there was "too much politics [and] lack of continuity and institution memory." 
"For the past few years, it was 'do nothing or do little,' [and] that's why we have catastrophic traffic right now," he said. 
"They ignore previous planning initiatives, and so on. It's short-term and opportunistic, it's not long-term and visionary." 





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Report from PhilStar

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