Far too many people have died on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. Rampaging buses have been blamed. Buses in the Metropolis are private businesses. Bus driver wages are commonly on a commission basis— the more people they ferry, the better. Just like Jeepneys do, and just like Cabs do.
Is this a symptom of a bigger problem?
There are really fewer bus stops in the city, or jeepney stops. There are no fixed schedules for example that the bus will arrive at say 2 PM. A school of thought may point to a government that has abdicated its role in public transportation.
Is the reason simply because the government doesn’t control things? In New York City, the Metropolitan Transit Authority controls every form of public transport in New York state. That includes the subway system, and police. The MTA is a public corporation, but because of the economic downturn it is US$31 billion in debt.
So if a public corporation can rack up that much debt, and the private sector seem unwieldy, where then can people stand?
At the end of the day, it is less an issue about the Metro Manila Development Authority or an economic one for that matter. It is an issue of justice, and the culture of impunity that exist everywhere. The sooner Drivers are really punished for violating traffic, and actually get to pay fines the better. The sooner the apprehending officer apprehends rightly traffic offenders and cease doing so only because they don’t have food for lunch, the better it is for our streets.
We call them accidents because that’s what they are. It doesn’t mean, people are powerless, or there is nothing we can do about it. Sadly, it the biggest problem of traffic and traffic accidents it the philippines has more to do with fighting a culture of impunity.
Photo credit: express000, Some rights reserved