Rich vs Poor: Who the hell does the MMDA work for?

Gelo Lasin
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It’s safe to say that the MMDA’s yellow lane policy made the traffic situation in the metro a helluva lot worse last Wednesday, August 7.

The policy, which limited buses to the two outer lanes in EDSA, caused massive delays and inconveniences for everyone, most especially for the city’s bus fairing commuters.

A viral photo by netizen Karl Mercado seemed to perfectly sum up the fiasco, as public vehicles could be seen cramped on one side of the highway, while lanes for their private counterparts were free and empty.

Bes, anong oras na kaya ako makakauwi?Komyuter lang kasi ako eh. Probinsyano lang kasi ako eh.I don't deserve equal treatment.Yellow Lane Policy pa more.#commutersnaman

Posted by Karl Mercado on Tuesday, August 6, 2019

 

The snap, along with Mercado’s caption which read Komyuter lang kasi ako eh. I don’t deserve equal treatment.’, magnified the divide caused by a policy which has been slammed by many as anti-poor.

True enough, Twitter was more than happy to provide evidence of MMDA’s alleged favoritism towards ‘private car-owning citizens’.

 

Netizen James Thomas Veloso also described the situation as something that his ‘heart breaks to see every night.’ 

‘I have a question to the MMDA: is this what you want all of us who cannot afford even the downpayment of a car to endure every night?

No wonder productivity in Metro Manila is fast draining. Commuting now takes six hours every day… Why don’t the stooges that run our traffic system get out of their cars and experience being a commuter for once?

This is a scene my heart breaks to see every other night. People waiting for a bus home crowding the three lanes of the…

Posted by James Thomas Veloso on Wednesday, August 7, 2019

 

In an interview with CNN Philippines last August 7, MMDA spokesperson Celine Pielago argued that the blame for the traffic jam shouldn’t be solely placed on the yellow lane policy.

Ang daming factors. Umulan today, ayun hanggang ngayon po umaambon. Alam naman po natin kapag nakakaranas tayo ng ulan, medyo bumabagal ang takbo ng trapiko,’

The government has been looking to address EDSA’s worsening traffic conditions via a series of road and transportation projects. President Duterte has gone so far as to assure that a 5-minute drive from Cubao to Makati will be possible by December.