The Philippine Star

For those living in Metro Manila, the light traffic on EDSA during the weeks of Christmas and New Year  was pleasantly surprising. This week, though, bad traffic has come back full force, as if with a vengeance.

As the Duterte government’s Build Build Build pledge gains momentum, and recognizing that the bulk of the big infrastructure projects are related to easing the flow of commuters and products within Metro Manila and outlying
provinces in the future, traffic will definitely turn for the worse.

Other public-private partnership infrastructure projects are also in the works, and this is adding to the noise and dust within and around the metropolis, and as author Bower Lewis had expressed in his book title, “Patience, my dear.”
There are already 60 projects under construction under the BBB. The project cost of the 60 projects is P1.8 trillion, funded mostly by ODAs. The 60 projects are already under construction or under preconstruction,” Beltran told financial reporters.

From among the big-ticket projects are the Philippine National Railways South Long Haul Line, the P355.6-billion Mega Manila Subway, the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2 extension projects, the rehabilitation of Guadalupe Bridge, the construction of a common station for the metro’s three train systems, the South Integrated Terminal Exchange, and the Metro Rail Transit 7.

Preparing for ‘carmaggedon’

Not only is the build-up expected to reach Armageddon proportions by the third quarter of the year, people’s patience will be stretched to the limit too. This is why preparations are in order, not just getting our mindsets prepped up for slower traffic flow – and even longer standstills.

It’s not too late to suggest that the concerned government agencies should come up with alternate routes that road users can use while construction of road projects are ongoing or starting.

I’ve heard drivers sharing names of side streets that I’ve never come across in my life, but which are often used only by private vehicles especially during rush hours. But like water trying to find a way out, flooding starts to build up at the choke points, usually the intersection where the main road that public utility vehicles use meets with the side street.

Easing choke points

Our traffic management officials should focus on helping its traffic enforcers on the streets to come up with measures that would clear up choke points.

Often, buses and jeepneys linger in the immediate area of choke points, either to pick up or drop off passengers, and worse, to wait for commuters. A quick solution would be to cordon off the sidewalks of choke points so that public utility vehicles will have no option but to load and unload before or after the barricades.

Choke points must be manned by a full contingent of traffic enforcers during the rush hours, but with a skeleton crew at all other hours, except in the early mornings when traffic really thins out.

I’m sure our readers will have more ideas that can help. The government has been talking about staggered work hours and vehicle sharing schemes. Now is the time to implement these. Even if an original idea fails, new schemes must be tried out until something eventually works.

Anti-road rage recommendations

On the other hand, to avoid people getting into a road rage mode, it would be good to come up with suggestions that would help those stuck in traffic to extend their patience.

I’ve seen drivers switching their smartphones to television mode when the red light stops them from crossing a street. As long as the driver reverts back to Waze mode when the green light comes up, this should not pose any substantial road risks.

Aside from listening to music or radio shows, those driving vehicles can turn to self-improvement audio recordings. As long as the latter is switched to pause when traffic starts to move again, such interventions are a constructive way to maximize time that otherwise would have been lost in the wait.
Again, we look to our readers for more suggestions.

Corporate sponsorship choices expanding

And now, a bit on the business of sports.

Corporate sponsorship of sports, particularly in basketball, is huge business. Just look at the number of advertisers during championship games in collegiate basketball like the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Local basketball has just added a new event: the three-on-three, which is faster and highlights individual skills of six players (three on each side) on the court. The game is regarded as the largest urban sport in the world, and is currently being promoted and structured by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

The 3x3 basketball is now an Olympic event starting at Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), the national sports association for basketball, is encouraging corporate sponsors to assist schools and leagues to support the promotion and development of 3x3. This call was made by Sen. Sonny Angara, SBP chairman, during a recent interview (Philippine STAR, Jan. 11).

Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL), a non-profit entity and accredited member of SBP, heeded the call by organizing the first school-based nationwide competition on 3x3 basketball. Regional competitions were held at Dagupan, Naga, Cebu, Davao, and NCR, and the regional champions are competing in the grand finals on Jan. 27 to be held at Vista Mall, Taguig, Metro Manila.

Watch the games on “live stream” at the PCCL YouTube channel and on Fox Sports television, and enjoy a new and exciting basketball game format. 

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Valero Street, SalcedoVillage, 1227 MakatiCity. Or e-mail me at reydgamboa@yahoo.com. For a compilation of previous articles, visit http://www.bizlinksphilippines.net/.