An American political science expert said traffic gridlock in the Philippines is caused by underinvestment in mass transit systems and an over-reliance on cars as mode of transportation.
Prof. John Sidel of the London School of Economics and Political Science made the analysis as he presented his paper, “Crisis at Catalyst: Introducing Urban Transport Reforms in the Philippines Amidst the Global Pandemic,” in a forum hosted by the Move as One Coalition over the weekend.
Sidel said the need for reforms in the transportation system, including the promotion of active transport such as dedicated bike lanes and bus rapid transit systems, have become more stark amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic and the economic, logistical, and social problems it generated produced unprecedented — and hitherto unanticipated — opportunities to bring these reforms to fruition,” he said in his paper.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, for his part, acknowledged the role of the Move as One Coalition in achieving safe and inclusive public transport in the country.
“We achieved significant strides for a safe and inclusive public transit board because of the support of partners like NGOs today,” Bautista said.
The Move as One Coalition, which has over 140 organizations and 77,000 individuals as members, has been advocating for a safer, more humane, and more inclusive public transportation system that is not designed with a car-centric approach.