Traffic Problems here

Traffic has been getting a lot worse here lately with the number of cars on the streets now. It seems like just walking places is gonna be faster, but then the heat here kinda makes that the not-so-optimal approach, at least in my eyes. I think the traffic problem is caused by several factors that by themselves aren’t huge problems.

First off, public transport. While it’s very good to have public transport, the public transport here isn’t very efficient. You’ll see a lot of jeepneys just stopped at certain spots along the roads waiting for passengers. A lot of the time, they’re blocking 1 or maybe even 2 lanes of traffic, which means other cars have to move around them. In addition, jeepneys are constantly stopping and weaving in and out of the lanes. I understand that jeepneys are a huge part of public transport here, but there has to be better ways. Maybe designated lanes for the usual stops where they wait for passengers. Most malls have this and it works well, but not every place has this.

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The other public transport that is common to see here are taxis. Taxis aren’t as big of a deal as jeepneys because they aren’t stopping and starting over and over, and they usually either circle around town looking for passengers or go to taxi queues that are usually always out of the way of streets and such. So overall I think taxis are fine.

The bulk of the traffic here is made up of private vehicles though. One thing that most people do that really upsets me is just parking on the street. Just today, I saw a few while out and about even though there were parking spots off the street close by. I feel like now, a lot of people have their own vehicle, whether it be a car or a motorcycle or something, which is fine and all, but the more cars there are on the road, the more congested it’s gonna be.

Davao Traffic

Davao Traffic

I know that this is a huge issue for small countries like Singapore and the way they fix it over there is by having a really expensive tax thing for buying cars. I think a couple of my friends who live there said it was like a certificate you had to buy from the government in order to own a car and you need to renew it every-so-often. Even the simplest cars would cost you a lot over there. Now, I’m not saying that the Philippines should do that, I don’t think it’s a good idea, to be honest. I am saying that the government might wanna look into a solution though because having traffic issues is a big pain.

On the bright side though, I read that the traffic problems are helping e-commerce grow more here. Makes sense, why spend hours going out to get something when you can easily order it online? Especially with new services like PayMaya, it’s a lot easier now.

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AJ Martin

Aaron Martin, also called "AJ," is the son of Bob & Feyma Martin. Aaron is a graduate at Ateneo de Davao University High School in Davao City, Philippines. Aaron was born in the USA, but has lived in the Philippines since age 3.

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Alex Kennedy
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Alex Kennedy

You are missing the bigger issues, namely overpopulation and poor infrastructure.

Scottish Jim
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Scottish Jim

Overpopulation is most certainly a problem though, but I know a lot of Filipino guys, and most have never ever used a condom, or even thought about it, so I don’t think that’s going to change rapidly, unless birth control can become more common. Then the whole “big family to look after you when you’re old” mentality, which perpetuates poverty generation after generation, may gradually start to die out, and perhaps, in time, overpopulation will ease. One of the world’s most densely populated countries in the world, I don’t think it will happen over a generation though.

Alex Kennedy
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Alex Kennedy

Correct Jim. Women can get injectable contraception for about 1 peso per day but they don’t know or care because of what you are saying. The infrastructure issue is also unsolvable due to greedy corruption. Since you can’t change the culture the mess is probably unsolvable.

Steve
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Steve

Alex, Jim, and Aaron. You are all correct. I would simply add that the Philippine economy is growing at over 6% a year. That means more people can afford to own vehicles.

Aaron Martin
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Aaron Martin

True. One problem is the stigma of birth control being bad, which leads to too many births…

As for infrastructure, I really hope they improve it but I doubt they will tbh.

Scottish Jim
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Scottish Jim

Hey Aaron, yes, traffic is certainly a problem; it’s a few years since I’ve been in Davao now, and I thought back in 2012 that it was becoming a major problem. However, unlike Singapore, Davao is a huge geographical area; one of the largest cities in the world in terms of geographical area in fact. I think the problem revolves around a general lack of discipline from drivers, and I expect that as things evolve, and the local/regional government improves the traffic flow and provides proper “bus stops” etc, the situation will improve. Given people’s resistance to change though, I… Read more »

Aaron Martin
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Aaron Martin

I agree on people resisting change. Gonna take a lot of time before they actually accept changed if they are made.

As for the better public transport, there were a lot of rumors before about a train system here in Davao, but so far nothing has come of it. Maybe soon there’ll be more information about it.

Jeramie Tuburan Sarona
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Stay safe.. I hope you will be fun here in davao.

Clarence Obert
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Clarence Obert

Hi Aaron. We just bought our new SUV and learned that the Govt does intend to tax imported vehicles as a means to slow down the amount on the road. On Jan 1, they will impose a new 40% excise tax on new vehicles imported into the country. That huge!

Aaron Martin
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Aaron Martin

Oh really? That seems like a huge tax tbh, we’ll see how it goes though.

Gary Neil Dadds
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Gary Neil Dadds

You could halve the traffic overnight if you shook up the LTO and got them to do their jobs properly. Just taking the unlicensed drivers off the road would make a huge difference.

Aaron Martin
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Aaron Martin

Very true lol

angkoldoy
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angkoldoy

In support of your article: In 1985 I arrived in a town on the south coast of Bohol called Dimiao. At that time, only one household had a privately owned vehicle. As I recall, the population was 30,000. Today, of course, that is much different. The amount of vehicles though is not in proportion to population growth. There would only be a handful of vehicles today if over population was the cause. Me thinks that it is caused my basic economic growth, The surging middle class with disposable income. In 1989, I was living and teaching English in downtown Taipei.… Read more »

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