MAP Insights

Interestingly, traffic flow is like blood flow.

Blood circulation is one of the many parts and systems that comprise the human body — an almost perfect machine with a master template that enables the body to function as one.

When we are born, the blood circulates normally to distribute oxygen and nutrients to, and collect waste from, body parts so that they can, as one body, function normally. The blood follows bodily functions so no blood gets lost or wayward, lest some organs get starved of oxygen or nutrients and the body dies.

As we get older and indulgent, plaque from cholesterol builds up on blood vessel walls and become blockages that slow down, or worse, stop blood flow. To normalize blood flow, blockages have to be removed, or a bypass is done.

Air, sea, and land traffic, like blood flow, must have a master plan with designs and rules to ensure a smooth flow. For example, too many air or sea arrivals at one time could cause land traffic. Surely we have a master transportation plan. The question is — are we following the master plan?

I can name so many blockages in our streets, mostly caused by poor engineering, education, and enforcement — parking along busy streets takes away at least one lane; double parking robs another lane; jaywalking and potholes slow down traffic; vehicles stop or are trapped in intersections preventing vehicles from going forward on a green light; buses and jeeps take and discharge passengers on the road instead of at bus stops; street repairs are done at peak hours; intersections that are too close to each other; U-turn, instead of cloverleaf-type traffic flow in highways; frequent swerving; tricycles on busy streets; no bypass road when clearly the situation demands it; etc.

A first step to address our traffic problem in Metro Manila is to name the Philippine National Police National Capital Region Head as the Traffic Czar, with all the resources and authority on traffic management, to remove all road blockages and enable bypasses to ensure smoother traffic flow.

This article reflects the personal opinion of the author and does not reflect the official stand of the Management Association of the Philippines or the MAP.


Renato C. Valencia is the Chair of OMNIPAY and member of the MAP Inclusive Growth Committee’s Sub-Committee for EMERGE (Educated Marginalized Entrepreneurs Resource GEneration).