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The New Normal: Filipinos Are Climbing Bus Windows Just to Get a Ride

Traffic has long been bad in Metro Manila but it has gotten worse since road constructions started in the southern part of the city last year.
09 March 2020, 8:35am
traffic manila philippines climb bus window
(L) For illustrative purposes only.  Photo by Yannes Kiefer on Unsplash. (R) Screenshot of Facebook video by Sherwin Medina Sinio. 

Traffic in the Philippines' Metro Manila has long been notoriously horrible, in large part because of a lack in proper public transportation. Spending hours in a car is the norm just to get around. In fact, it sometimes takes 5 minutes to travel a kilometre in some areas. The situation is so bad that in September last year, Manila was described by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as the "most congested” city in Asia.

While the government is now working to build more infrastructure to accommodate commuters, ongoing constructions are making the situation worse in some parts of the metro, leading people to resort to extreme measures.

On the morning of Monday, March 9, a man was spotted desperately climbing into a bus window just to get a ride in Sucat, Muntinlupa City, GMA News reported. As of late, it has been difficult to catch a bus in the southern part of Metro Manila because of ongoing highway construction that started last year.

The video posted on Facebook by user Sherwin Medina Sinio has since gone viral, garnering 191 shares, 212 comments and 78,545 views as of writing.

The man was not alone. Several commuters were also seen clinging onto the sides of the bus, trying to make their way in. Similar incidents have happened in the past too.

In September, several passengers climbed their way into a bus window near the business district in Taguig City because they were afraid that they would be late for work, Coconuts reported.

“There were so many commuters waiting on the road, and there were very few buses passing through,” Danny Jhon Barrios, 26, who posted a video of the incident on Facebook, said.

Many have brought up their concerns regarding Manila’s traffic situation but the Duterte administration has yet to effectively address it. In October last year, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo even said that he does not think it’s a serious issue.

If this goes unresolved, the Philippine economy could continue to lose PHP3.5 billion (approx. $69 million) daily from the lack of productivity, according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

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