Saturday, December 28, 2013

Privatized #publictransit leads to disaster in Manila

Opinion | GMA News Online: "It is time to revoke the licenses of these transport operators who have continued to disregard traffic rules, like speed limits on skyways, in the pursuit of profit. They have already lost their social license to operate, it is time to revoke their legal right to do so. To allow them and the industry to continue down this road of destruction is just outright madness."

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Manila #publictransit unreliable and incompetent

BusinessMirror - Public transportation: Making difficult choices: "But we know the cause: The failure of the government to provide an effective regulatory structure for a public-transportation industry that is unable to give commuters reliable and competent service."

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Car traffic is draining the Philippine economy

Traffic everywhere! | Business, News, The Philippine Star | "The losses due to traffic are estimated by experts at P150 billion in time savings per year, plus about P20 billion more in vehicle operating cost. I would add the physical abuse we all impose on our personal health from inhaling all that poisonous air as well as in our psychological well being.

We continue to suffer because we have refused to bite the bullet and do some very difficult but sensible things to make our worsening traffic problem bearable. "

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

#Climatechange disaster in the Philippines. This is the true cost of the auto culture.

SFGate: "TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — As many as 10,000 people are believed dead in one Philippine city alone after one of the worst storms ever recorded unleashed ferocious winds and giant waves that washed away homes and schools. Corpses hung from tree branches and were scattered along sidewalks and among flattened buildings, while looters raided grocery stores and gas stations in search of food, fuel and water."

Friday, November 8, 2013

Super typhoon Haiyan closes in on Philippines, among strongest storms ever

Hemispheric view of Haiyan (EUMETSAT Facebook page)
WashingtonPost: "The Joint Typhoon Warning Center has increased its estimate of Haiyan’s maximum sustained winds to 195 mph with gusts to 235 mph. The storm is now within a few hours of landfall in the central Philippines at peak intensity as among the most powerful storms witnessed anywhere in modern times. Widespread destruction, unfortunately, seems inevitable."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Manila gridlock has reached the breaking point

Our traffic hell, an exit strategy: "what we need in Metro Manila is a public transportation system that is affordable and can move people efficiently from their homes to their work places, and to and from centers of commerce and community life."

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Philippines - Climate change is here and now, 300,000 displaced by flood

Rain pounds Manila as flood death toll climbs - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English: "As of nightfall on Wednesday about 15 percent of Metro Manila, a low-lying city of 12 million people, was still flooded, down from 50 percent on Tuesday, said Mon Viloria of the city's civil defence office. The Philippine Red Cross said almost 300,000 people were living in evacuation centres or seeking shelter with friends and relatives."

Friday, August 16, 2013

MMDA chief takes public transpo, now what?

ABS-CBN News: "The petition noted that 80% of Metro Manila residents—including children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities—take public transportation.

However, it noted that the dismal state of public transit "doesn’t allow them mobility with safety and civility."

"They suffer long lines, squeeze into jam-packed trains and rickety buses and jeeps, and endure long travel times. The government puts all its efforts in trying to solve traffic, but not in solving public transportation," the petition read."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Traffic justice and Manila’s traffic mess

Traffic justice and Manila’s traffic mess: "Why should buses — each carrying as many as 60-80 passengers — be forced out of the city just so private cars, carrying usually just one or two passengers each, could have more of the road to themselves? If only one in five Metro Manila residents owns a car, why should they be entitled to four out of five of EDSA’s lanes?"

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

#climatechange "like a war" in The Philippines

ThinkProgress: "The Philippines regularly suffer damage from typhoons and super typhoons — the average is 20 storms a year — though the trend is increasing. The five most devastating typhoons on record have hit the Philippines since 1990, and as water temperatures increase, storms get stronger, and sea levels rise, storms have the potential to exact more and more damage on the island nation. Mary Ann Lucille Sering, the head of the Philippine government’s climate change commission, said in February that climate change was “like a war” in her country. Filipinos rate climate change as a larger threat than rising food and gas prices."

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dead Fish After Huge Oil Spill in Philippines

The Jakarta Globe: "Manila. A huge oil spill shut down parts of the Philippine capital’s vital fishing industry Friday, jeopardizing the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people living along Manila Bay’s diesel-coated coast.

Dead fish floated on the water and some residents fell ill from the fumes, as authorities said an estimated 500,000 liters of oil cast a slick across 20-kilometers of the coastline.

“Many of our young and elderly residents are getting sick,” Marcos Solis, the captain of a fishing village near the worst of the oil spill, told AFP."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Manila caters to car drivers while 80% of people are on #publictransit "Eight out of 10 is more than a supermajority - that's nearly the whole city! In Metro Manila, the people who ride cars are the minority. They are the exceptions. And yet our public officials have only focused on curing traffic congestion rather than improving public transportation. This is insane"

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Philippines losing USD 55 million a day in traffic congestion waste

Online petition urges government officials to experience commuting to work | "According to Director General Arsenio Balisacan of the National Economic Development Authority, the Philippines is losing as much as P2.4 billion (Dhs 203,561,060, USD 55,200,000) per day in potential income as a result of traffic congestion problem and lost productivity."

..."We keep building roads and flyovers that only encourage more people to drive their cars. But we don’t invest in facilities that make it easier for transit riders to get from point A to point B.”

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

President Benigno Aquino III: Please require ALL public officials to take public transit once a month! "Dear President Aquino,

80% of Metro Manila residents—including children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities—take public transportation.

Yet the dismal state of public transit doesn’t allow them mobility with safety and civility. They suffer long lines, squeeze into jam-packed trains and rickety buses and jeeps, and endure long travel times.

The government puts all its efforts in trying to solve traffic, but not in solving public transportation.

We keep building roads and flyovers that only encourage more people to drive their cars. But we don’t invest in facilities that make it easier for transit riders to get from point A to point B. These facilities include comfortable bus, jeep, and train stops, wide sidewalks, and well-designed walkways that connect the different modes of transport.

The only way government officials will understand the plight of commuters is if they themselves take public transit regularly.

Please require all government officials, including MalacaƱang staff and senior cabinet officials, to take public transit at least once a month.

Please make this sacrifice so you can all understand the daily realities faced by the majority of your fellow Filipinos. "

Saturday, July 20, 2013

DOTC urges Pinoys to use public transportation to ease road traffic

GMA News Online: "The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) urged Filipinos, especially those with private vehicles, to use public transportation to address the growing road traffic problem in the country."

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Many improvements needed for Manila #publictransit

The Philippine Star : "If authorities want people to take mass transportation, they should improve public safety. There are panties for sale in this country with zippered pockets in front. I was told by regular commuters that the pockets are where they keep their cash and other small valuables especially when taking a bus to the provinces."

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The only solution to Manila traffic headaches is an intelligent, efficient mass transit system

What do we do about Metro Manila’s headache? | Opinion, News, The Philippine Star | "But no question about it, the only way forward is to develop an intelligent and efficient mass rapid transit system in order to lessen the number of vehicles on the streets, because it will encourage people to leave their cars and take public transport for lengthy distances."

Bill introduced to make public transport the primary mobility option in 12 months

Inquirer News: "
“The DoTC shall provide guidelines that will promote a shift toward public transportation as a primary mobility option to the general public within 12 months from the effectivity of this act,” it says.
The Cayetano bill also provides for three-meter-wide sidewalks along primary and secondary roads for safe pedestrian passage and the convenient use of wheelchairs and strollers.
It also provides for bike lanes “for the preferential or exclusive use of bicycles” in a portion of roadways and highways.
Cayetano proposes that better public transportation initiatives be studied and implemented “to reduce the impact of the declining oil economy on our environment and financial markets as well as help reduce energy costs, pollution and even urban poverty.”"

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Labor, transport groups plan nationwide protest vs gas, price hikes

Inquirer News: "MANILA, Philippines—Fed up with the continued increase in the prices of fuel and other commodities, militant groups, including a transport group, announced Wednesday the holding of a “nationwide protest” on July 16."

Monday, July 8, 2013

Philippines adoption of car culture was a mistake. Move people instead of vehicles

Inquirer Opinion: "The government neglected the PNR after the administration of President Diosdado Macapagal because we were seduced by American vehicle exporters to use the motor transport instead. Now we see how wrong that was."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

In southeast Asia, more talk about public transit as congestion chokes cities

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama takes offense at President Benigno Aquino III’s dig | Sun.Star: "The TWG had said that flyovers are not among the recommended traffic solutions in previous transportation studies.

They said that completed transportation and land use studies for Metro Cebu identified the following solutions to the traffic congestion: opening of new or by-pass roads; the improvement, repair and widening of existing roads; traffic enforcement and management; adoption of a strategic highway network; and promotion of a mass transport system. "

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Philippines: Road traffic choking Cebu

Rep. Eduardo Gullas for Light Rail Transit and Bus Rapid Transit | Sun.Star: "Whatever option is picked, Gullas said, the increasing traffic problem in Metro Cebu raises the need for all sectors to brainstorm and work for on an alternative public transportation system."

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Environmental threats could push billions into extreme poverty, warns UN | Global development | The Guardian

A Filipino boy washes his face in murky waters in Manila. Inaction on the environment will accelerate global poverty, warns the UN. Photograph: Francis R Malasig/EPA
The Guardian: "The number of people living in extreme poverty could increase by up to 3 billion by 2050 unless urgent action is taken to tackle environmental challenges, a major UN report warned on Thursday."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Typhoon costs in Philippines were 2.9% of GDP in 2009 and have been rising

Thousands of banana trees toppled by Bopha in New Bataan, Philippines. Photograph: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images
Filipino super-typhoon an ominous warning of climate change impact | World news | The Guardian: "Mary Ann Lucille Sering, head of the Philippine government's climate change commission, is in no doubt her country faces a deepening crisis that it can ill afford, financially and in human terms. Typhoon-related costs in 2009, the year the commission was created, amounted to 2.9% of GDP, she said, and have been rising each year since then."

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