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Freeman Cebu Business

Online car portal: Poor infra cause traffic woes

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The rise in car ownership has been cited as one major contributor to the worsening traffic problem. But that is not only the sole issue, according to Abhishek Mohan, the new managing director of online vehicle marketplace Carmudi Philippines.

"Traffic is something that annoys me but that's [increase in car ownership] not the core of the problem," Mohan said in an interview late Friday in Cebu City. "Limiting ownership is one way of tackling the problem immediately."

In fact, the rate of car ownership in the Philippines is still low compared to its peers in Southeast Asia, he said.

"Car ownership is a symptom but is not the underlying problem. Its infrastructure, not just in Metro Manila but in other cities [like Cebu]," he said. "It's a symptom of concentrated development and jobs in a single metro area."

Bad Infra and poor mass transport

Mohan pointed out the traffic problem has been worsened by bad infrastructure and the lack of public transport options in the Philippines particularly in its major cities like Metro Cebu.

This is a same view echoed by German urban planning expert Manfred Poppe in a previous interview.

He had said that amid the rising disposable income, many people are encouraged to buy cars because of the poor and low quality public transport system particularly in Cebu.

Poppe had stressed that a good and efficient mass transport system has to be put in place to encourage people to use public transport.

But the Philippines is not a sole victim of traffic, said Mohan, noting that it happens in developing cities around the world.

"It's (traffic) something that you see every day," he said. He, however, called for a solution to traffic as soon as possible.

The managing director particularly cited the urban migration as a contributing factor to congestion in metro areas.

Spread the development

"The real challenge [for the Philippines] is to develop cities like Manila and Cebu where development can spread, where people can have jobs and companies can invest to be able provide jobs. That's when you see the quality of life," he explained.

If development can spread out of the metro areas, Mohan said the Philippines will see urban congestion easing out and will eventually develop a better quality of life.

"The focus should be to build good infrastructure in second and third-tier cities," he said. (FREEMAN)

 

ABHISHEK MOHAN

BAD INFRA

BUT THE PHILIPPINES

CARMUDI PHILIPPINES

CEBU

CEBU CITY

MANFRED POPPE

MANILA AND CEBU

METRO CEBU

MOHAN

QUOT

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