The usual traffic woes on EDSA every Christmas season can be felt by commuters as early as August, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
"Nasa July-August pa lang po tayo pero ang nararanasan nating pagbigat ng trapiko, parang Disyembre na," MMDA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago said in Joseph Morong's report on GMA's 24 Oras.
"Ayaw ho nating bolahin ang mga kababayan natin. Ang importante ho, may figures sila at alam nila ang tunay nangyayari. Bibigat po tayo pagdating ng ber months," she added.
The traffic flow in EDSA's southbound lane is at 11 kilometers per hour (kph) in the morning while northbound motorists move at an average of 14 kph in the evening.
According to data from the MMDA, the traffic volume in EDSA exceeds it daily vehicle capacity by 601 percent.
Over 380,000 vehicles are traversing EDSA every day when its actual capacity was only pegged at 54,000.
Cars make up for 66 percent % of the traffic volume, 22% were motorcycles, and 3.48% were buses.
One of the optimal solutions in decongesting EDSA would be increasing the number of trains in Metro Manila.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr), however, admitted that improving the rail system in the country would not be accomplished in just a snap of a finger.
MRT's speed is 30 kph—much slower than the trains in Japan and New York which run at 60 to 80 kph.
"Kapag baku-bako po 'yung riles mo, dagdagan mo pa po ng baku-bako 'yung mga gulong ng mga bagon mo dahil hindi na-maintain nang maayos, kinakailangan pong ibaba 'yung operating speed nung sistema," DOTr Undersecretary Timothy John Batan said.
In the Philippines, only 6% to 7% of the commuting public use the trains. This is a far cry from the situation in Japan where 70% of the riding public use the train.
The Duterte administration's "Build Build Build" program projects that upon the completion of the new train routes and road networks, the number of train riders will rise up to 25%. —Dona Magsino/ LDF, GMA News