Before 2010 traffic was not as bad.
Traffic in Metro Manila only started to become unbearable in the middle of the Aquino administration.
This graph tells a story:
Some relatively recent headlines:
“Philippine Auto Industry Remains the Fastest Growing in ASEAN”, Carmundi, Sept. 14, 2014.
“PH auto industry hits record sales in 1Q 2015“, Rappler, April 14, 2015
And according to one analysis:
With booming economic expansion and growth of the middle class, the Philippines automobile industry showed a stellar performance throughout last year and early 2015. x x x
With healthy and sustainable economic growth, coupled with strong consumer purchasing power, the Philippines is becoming an increasingly attractive prospect for car manufacturers. x x x
Because of the booming economy, interest rates have gone down. Because of lower interest rates, more people can afford to buy cars. Unfortunately, the more cars there are, the more traffic we get. This is an unintended consequence of a growing nation.
What has the government done to address the problem in Metro Manila?
The NLEX-SLEX Connector Roads.
According to the Official Gazette:
Once completed, the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road hopes to decongest traffic in Metro Manila by providing an alternative to C-5 Road, Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), and other major thoroughfares. It is expected to cut the travel time between NLEX and SLEX from more than an hour to about 20 minutes.
As explained by a columnist for the Philippine Star (Dec. 27, 2015):
The NLEX-SLEX Connector Road would reduce travel time from NLEX to SLEX to only 15-20 minutes, and is projected to improve transport logistics as a result of the more efficient movement of cargoes, roll-on, roll-off (RORO) vessels, and passengers in and out of the ports located in Manila.
Apart from cutting road congestion in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfares, the Connector Road will add a more direct link to the Manila port area, thereby easing the perennial port congestion because with the reduced travel time, it will encourage businesses to take their cargoes to the alternative ports in Batangas City and the Subic Freeport in Zambales.
Also, investors would continue to flock to the country when this project is completed because it would enhance connectivity between our international airports and seaports, including the Subic Freeport by way of the NLEX-SCTEX route, the Batangas Port via SLEX, and the Clark International Airport (CIA) to the NAIA.
This will, in turn, improve linkages between the key growth areas of Metro Manila, Central Luzon, North Luzon and the Clark-Subic corridor.
According to studies, the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road would decongest EDSA, C-5 and other roads in Metro Manila’s inner cities because these choked arteries would be freed of heavy vehicles traveling to and from Manila’s Port Area.