Bernardo M. Villegas
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Visions for A More Livable Metro Manila


     Under the leadership of MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, a Joint Technical Secretariat with representatives from the MMDA, DOTC, and DPWH, concretized the ingredients of an environment in the Metro Manila area that could be described as healthy, free from stress, and conducive to global competitiveness of the economic activities located in the National Capital Region. In a series of workshops held last November 2010, representatives of these government agencies met with experts to identify quick and practical initiatives to alleviate the traffic and transport situation in Metro Manila.  The overarching principles that guided their discussions were mobility, safety, civility and productivity.

      It would be useful for the ordinary citizens living in Metro Manila to understand these principles so that in their individual capacities, they can contribute to the common good with the appropriate personal behaviors.  First, there is mobility, which is defined as the unimpeded travel and movement of vehicles, goods, commuters, and passengers throughout Metro Manila.  The metrics for determining an improvement in mobility were suggested as follows:

·         Average travel time of public transport vehicles (i.e. buses and PUJ).

·         Average turn-around time from waiting to transfer of passengers.

·         Vehicle volume count in Metro Manila.

·         Frequency and rate of increase in new and renewed motor vehicle registrations by type.

       Safety refers to both prevention and quick emergency response to traffic and road accidents.  The objective verifiable indicators are:

·     Classification and number of traffic accidents (i.e. severity, fatalities, involved parties, and extent of monetary damages).

·     Timeliness of generating road accident reports.

·     Average response time and availability of emergency personnel to assist victims of road accidents or road obstruction clearing.

      Civility is the capacity for politeness and courtesy among and between road users.  The measurements are the frequency and rate of increase in documented incidents on:

·     Illegal parking.

·     Discourteous behavior of drivers in areas covered by Closed Circuit Television (i.e. drunken and rude behavior, excessive use of horn, refusal to yield or merge in traffic).

·     Following existing traffic laws, rules and regulations.

       Productivity refers to the extent of efficiency and effectiveness in the use of transport resources.  It determines the level of input resources used to produce a specific output,   such as follows:

·     Monitoring an increased occupancy of private vehicles.

·     Monitoring an increased shift of commuters from private to mass transport system.

·     Improved maintenance of road infrastructure to prolong the average life span.

·     Turn-around transport time of public service delivery dependent on traffic flow (i.e. ambulance services and fire truck); and

·     Turn-around transport time of private business transactions dependent on traffic flow.

        It is evidence of the transparency of the management of the MMDA to have these metrics known to the public so that every concerned citizen can monitor the success of the efforts to make Metro Manila a more livable community.  It can also motivate the public to do its share in attaining the objectives, especially as regards the metrics referring to civility and productivity.  For comments, my email address is