Wednesday, August 26, 2015
B.R.O.D. ... This Will Work
B.R.O.D. … THIS WILL WORK
By Anton Antonio
August 27, 2015
“Ang ating traffic po ay larawan din ng ating pag-uugali. Tayo ba ay mapagbigay? Tayo ba ay mainitin ang ulo? Tayo ba ay laging nag-uunahan o tayo’y may kakayahan na magbigayan.” --- His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle
“I approached the driver of one of the five vehicles and told him that 200 vehicles are stuck in traffic because they are in the wrong way. It is really lamentable how some people tend to behave.” --- Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales
On August 23, 2015, Cardinal Tagle and Cardinal Rosales spoke their minds on our deteriorated traffic situation. And when personalities like our two esteemed Cardinals speak, we all have to listen. Cardinal Rosales himself got stuck in traffic and had to alight from his vehicle and humble himself to traffic aide duties to untangle a major traffic gridlock.
There are really a lot of causes that could be attributed to our daily traffic woes; to mention some of them: (1) the bearing capacity of Metro Manila streets is almost maxed-out (EDSA alone is being used by about 2.34 million vehicles daily); (2) the road repairs and anti-flooding projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); (3) The various infrastructure projects of government; (4) the Maynilad, Manila Water, Meralco and PLDT digging projects, etc. Although these infrastructure projects are only temporary disturbances and inconveniences and will eventually be beneficial, they (at present) result in (a) precious manhours lost; (b) livelihood opportunities lost; and, (c) a bigger carbon footprint made. But they, however, still are annoying to a lot of us.
Yes, we blame everyone --- from President Noynoy to the favourite “whipping boy” of mainstream and social media, Chairman Francis N. Tolentino of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) --- for all the wasted time and petrol while we twiddle our thumbs in traffic. But have we really taken time to look at ourselves? Have we really analyzed the situation? Are we not also to blame for our crazy traffic situation? Cardinal Tagle and Cardinal Rosales have just given us an insight to the real problem… our lack of discipline.
Another worrisome note is the estimated 800 thousand to 1.2 million additional vehicles that will be introduced to the already heavily burdened streets of Metro Manila in the next ten years. Although this is a good sign of economic progress, it also entails novel traffic initiatives to cope with this projected road use increase. Government, through the MMDA and DPWH, is aware of this and is setting in place new infrastructure projects and programs to deal with this eventuality. But government can only do as much and our future traffic problems will largely depend on our ability to adapt to changes. There are also individual/personal changes that must be done… which is more critical. This has a lot to do with improving the driving culture and character of the Pinoy driver.
It’s a strange developing culture and character among us, Pinoys. We take pride in beating red lights, making left and u-turns where the road signage says we are not supposed to, parking in “no parking” areas, speeding in the wrong direction through one-way streets, and counter-flowing as if we are the only ones in a hurry to get to our destinations. Taxi and jeepney drivers declare they are kings of the road while bus drivers take special pride in being the bigger road bullies. Truck drivers, because of the sheer size of their vehicles, are normally happy to intimidate smaller cars out of the way. While some of our drivers take special pride and joy in being undisciplined, the Philippines is fast becoming the “offensive driving” school of the world… something we really cannot and should not be proud of. Again, the key word is “discipline” or the lack of it. I hasten to add that pedestrians too are as undisciplined as some drivers. And it takes only one undisciplined driver and/or pedestrian (in a particular stretch of road) to cause a nerve-racking traffic jam.
Filipinos are fond of the word “BROD”. We are quick to call anyone “BROD” to signify closeness to a fellow Pinoy. Well, the term BROD could prove to be another solution to our traffic problems. B.R.O.D. is an acronym and could be a constant reminder for all of us that we are BROTHERS and not competitors and/or enemies on the road…
· B for “Bigayan” sa kalye (our cardinal rule);
· R for “Respeto” sa kapwa (fellow drivers and traffic enforcers);
· O for Obey traffic rules and regulations; and,
· D for Discipline (walang kamatayang Disiplina).
BRODs, let us also stop blaming MMDA Chairman Tolentino for the traffic situation. The guy is doing his best to make travel for all of us as smooth and comfortable as possible. Trust that he is cracking his head and spending sleepless nights thinking of ways and means to improve things. Instead of pinning blames on others, let us look within ourselves to discover the possible significant contribution we could make to ease our traffic malaise. Let’s all think B.R.O.D. … this will work.
Thoughts to promote positive action…
(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/ and http://twitter.com/EarthCrusader.)