Posted in #IFYOUCARE

SAY WHAT!?!

Hey there! How are you today? If you are living here in Metro Manila, I hope you have a good morning in spite of the everyday traffic. I also hope that you are not able to read a news article I just saw earlier this morning regarding a statement of the Palace to MRT Passengers. If you want, I can furnish you the link here but may I remind you to calm yourself as you read the article. Well, for those of you who does not have the time to check out the article, I’ll just give you the title of article so that you will be curious enough to check it out!

Palace to MRT passengers: Try other modes of transportation (GMA News Online)

At first glance and up to now, I agree to what my friend said when she shared the link of the article in her Facebook. I wanted to share it also in my feed but I decided against my idea and instead share my thoughts here (because I can tell more here)! So let me start with the title of article. All I can say is that “WHAT!?!?” I mean what other modes of transportation are they talking about because for me I CAN’T THINK ONE! I guess I am a lucky kid who is living here in Marikina Heights who have an option to ride a shuttle going to the busiest districts of Ortigas, Makati, BGC or Taguig. It takes away the hassle to endure the pain of riding the MRT but we need to endure the pain of the so-called MEGA TRAFFIC IN METRO MANILA. Let me paint a picture. The shuttle services passes by c5 Road everyday to transport people to Ortigas or Taguig. I also pass the same road every Sunday going to our church. At Sunday, you may reach Ortigas in almost an hour but at weekdays, you spend one hour just to pass by C5 Road and another one hour to reach your destination in Ortigas. So if you’re call time at Ortigas is 8AM you should be at the shuttle terminal before 6AM because of two reasons – (1) the traffic you need to endure and (2) there are very few shuttle services transporting people from Marikina because they are stuck in the mega traffic. So you see, even if there are other modes, at the end of the day you still need to endure the traffic here in Metro Manila. I remembered from a certain internet article that the time you spend with traffic is an unpaid working time.

You may also say that another way is to find an alternate route which is less in traffic. First of all, it is a dumb solution because every major roads in Metro Manila spells T-R-A-F-F-I-C. If ever you find a less traffic alternate route, it is usually a longer way and the longer the trip, the more time and money is spent. A number of people who uses the MRT/LRT or mass transport systems is living within their salary and I believe this common people have enough money only to spend for the shortest and cheapest way. They also have no capacity to pay for booking a ride in Grab or Uber or to pay their own car and fuel. I encountered the pain of a commuter in our train systems when I was an intern for a manufacturing plant in Pandacan, Manila. The shortest way to go to the plant was to ride the PNR (Philippine National Railways) because the plant is in front of PNR Pandacan Station. I only need to pay PHP 10 just to get to the plant but I need to be resilient in riding PNR. I called myself mandirigma (warrior) whenever I rode the PNR because it was really a nightmare to ride this train especially on rush hour. Let me paint you a picture. You don’t need to use your foot so you can force yourself in to the train. The pushing force of the people trying to board the train is enough to move you. Inside, you can smell anything from sweat, bad breath, smelly armpits and the like. There were also chances that I was touching (either my hand, my butt, my body) body parts that I should not be touching. Going out the train, you need to use your brute force (maniko, mambangga ka ng tao, etc.) so that you can go out the train. Why do I need to endure the pain of PNR? The reason is that when I choose an alternate route, it will take me longer (3 jeepneys) and I need to spend a lot more money in paying the fare (more than twice the amount I pay in PNR). So you see, either way you have the disadvantage in both system but Filipinos typically choose the cheapest way because of his financial limitations even if it means pain and hassle.

What really sparks the heat in my soul with this article is what Mr. Coloma (Presidential Communications Operations Office Head) said on what other mode of transportation people can venture out while MRT is waiting for the coming of the new train coaches. Here is the excerpt from the article:

He specifically encouraged commuters to try riding passenger buses, thousands of which supposedly traverse EDSA daily. “Hindi naman siksikan yung mga bus na ‘yun,” he said.

– Excerpt from the GMA News Online Article
I laughed very hard on his statement while my heat to the article is growing big. In my head I was thinking, “G**o ba siya?? Hindi ba niya nakita yung mga bus sa EDSA kapag Rush Hour!?! Ang daming nakatayo saan banda ang hindi siksikan.” I don’t know where did he get the idea that the buses in EDSA are not siksikan. I guess he never see in his own very eyes the conditions of the buses in during rush hour. I was able to experience the conditions of buses passing in EDSA which is an alternative mode of transportation for MRT (because MRT and buses passing in EDSA have parallel routes). Let me tell you, what he said is not true during rush hour, the time when there is a big volume of passengers using MRT and EDSA.I really hope they come out with solutions that are more practical on the condition than what they thought theoretically. I believe his solution is the best only if we don’t consider the other factors. I believe that no one wants his condition whenever he/she ride the MRT everyday. Sino ba ang gusto masiksik at masikip, wala naman di ba??? The problem is do Filipinos have a more comfortable alternative solution. As of the moment, A BIG NO!!!
I was really disappointed on what the Palace said to our everyday commuters. I was pro-government when they increased the ticket fares in MRT & LRT because I believe it will help in the operation of MRT & LRT in the future. I also supported their projects on the new ticket system (in some way, it is better and more efficient than the old system) and also buying of new coaches. I am against to the commuters who complaint in the new projects being implemented in MRT & LRT because guys, buying new SETS of big train coaches will not happen in just a span of few months. Procurement, installation and operation takes a year or more before it can be completed so please be calm and be patient! BUT the statement released by the Palace really makes me rally with the commuters sentiments on a better transportation system here in the country. I hate what they said to the commuters who endures the pain of our mass transport system while they only provide solutions without looking deeper in the situation. I wish that instead of saying “find another mode of transportation,” I hope they said the words “sorry for the hassle but rest assure we are doing everything to make your everyday commute a comfortable one but please bear with us.” It appears to me that the Palace are in some way blaming the commuters in the congestion in MRT. I believe that instead of blaming us, they should tell us that comfort is coming our way but the commuters must be patient as of the moment. They are the government whose main purpose is to serve the Filipinos not the other way around. I thought one of the slogans of this administration is “Kayo ang Boss ko” but it looks like the other way around right now. I guess that’s it for now have an awesome and blessed day ahead!
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Author:

A Thomasian chemical engineer by profession but a happy kid inside who loves to keep everyone happy and positive. He tries to create this blog to enhance his communication skill and also share his insights to anyone.

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