THE holiday season in the Philippines is mayhem. Commercial establishments are packed, with malls and restaurants extending their operating hours until late evening or even midnight.
Nowhere is the Christmas rush more felt, however, than in the unbearable transport situation in the metro. Public transportation is more challenging—costlier—to hurdle, and the roads are even more congested.
We know better than expect to reach our destinations at the usual length of time it takes to get us there.
In a little over two weeks, however, the holidays will be over. The packages will be put away, copious amounts of food consumed, the new year will begin and people will ease back into their regularly daily schedules. Not a few will be thankful at being able to go back to the usual routines.
But will traffic and public transportation improve then? Alas, no.
In fact, these twin evils have hounded metro commuters and motorists since the previous administration, and even on the most ordinary of days. Exasperation with transport officials has led to resentment of them and the straight path they claimed to represent.
That was the previous administration, and at the beginning of this one we had hoped there would be some immediate respite from our transport woes. Alas, it has been half a year and it is obvious that making the lives of commuters—who simply want to get to work or school and back home in one piece and without too much aggravation—easier is not a priority of this administration.
They have in fact asked repeatedly for emergency powers so that the Executive can supposedly fix the problem. But what extra powers are needed when all the means to effect changes have always been there but have not been used wisely.
When the holidays come and go, and transport remains as bad as it is, officials will no longer have a convenient cover for their apathy and ineptitude.