‘Traffic congestion affecting public’s productivity, health’
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - August 16, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Lawmakers warned the people yesterday that the worsening traffic congestion in Metro Manila has a negative impact on the productivity and health of workers and students in the metropolis.

Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian cited recent studies on the adverse effect of traffic jams on the mental and overall health of motorists and commuters, including the increased risk of heart disease and brain damage.

He said US public health studies suggest that children exposed to pollution because of traffic jams fare poorly in examinations and are more prone to anxiety and depression.

“It takes awhile for a person whether a driver, a worker or a student coming from a heavy traffic jam to recover and proceed to work or attend to class, and that’s not their fault,” Gatchalian said.

“They may not experience road rage in its fullest sense but they feel this continuing helplessness and resentment because of failure of the government to take care of their basic requirements of mobility,” he said.

Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas said traffic jams also increase the risk of commuters being victimized by criminals if they come home late at night after getting caught in traffic.

He said productivity and education suffers as drivers, workers and students lose sleep because of the long commute.

Vargas also called for a strict campaign against abusive and undisciplined drivers while stressing the key role of local officials in addressing the situation.

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez proposed the holding of a transportation summit to help address the worsening traffic situation, impose discipline on motorists and reduce accidents.

“I think our government agencies lack concern and empathy for the plight of our commuters, who are just trying to make a living but are harmed by the government’s insensitivity – just look at our MRT, our system in managing public utility vehicles,” Romualdez said.

Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, chairman of the House committee on Metro Manila development, said his panel would be coming up with recommendations to aid policymakers in addressing the worsening traffic congestion.

 

ACIRC ALFRED VARGAS FERDINAND MARTIN ROMUALDEZ GATCHALIAN LEYTE REP METRO MANILA QUEZON CITY REP SHERWIN GATCHALIAN TRAFFIC VALENZUELA CITY REP WINSTON CASTELO
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