Did you know that only 2% of the people in the Philippines have cars?
… And did you know that they are given 98% share of the roads?
I have never really thought about my share of the road til I heard it from a lecture this noon at the Lung Center of the Philippines. It is about Road Revolution, which is a movement of young Filipinos calling for a 50-50 share of the road — half for car-owners, and the other half, for pedestrians.
Come to think of it, the country could really gain a lot if only such a road revolution takes place. This means a greatly-improved mass transport system, and a higher road share for pedestrians where people who want to walk, or bike, or even use a skateboard could finally do it without having to settle for the measly sidewalks alloted to pedestrians (which are also, and wrongly, being used by people who drive motorbikes as alternative lanes during heavy traffic).
So what’s in it for us? There are a lot which will probably pop up on tv and print in the days to come but I wanna highlight three benefits:
First, our right to breathe clean air will be realized.
Less cars and improved mass transport systems would mean less emissions that give us respiratory and cardio-vascular diseases. The Philippine Medical Association said that the top diseases in the country are caused by air pollution. I also remember them saying that they (doctors) can easily tell where a dead person lived just by looking at his lungs – which are usually black if he’s from Metro Manila (eeek!).
Second, we will save money and time!
Right now, it would normally take almost two hours to get to Ortigas from Fairview. Those hours could have been spent sleeping, or playing or helping your kids study, or just plain more quality time with your loved ones. If you are workaholic or into business, this means money wasted because you come to work probably late which would mean salary deductions, or missed business opportunity and less client calls.
Third, we will be sexier ( or more fit).
Imagine the idea of biking “safely” to work, or walking along covered walkways for miles (okay that’s a bit of a stretch) but the idea that we would be free and safe to move and not just sit for hours in a car because we dont have any other choice how to get from point a to b is a good way to also exercise our butts off and therefore be sexier. Hehehe.
My reasons may sound too simple but they are reasons enough for me to join the cause. But if you want a heavier reason, there are too many studies revealing how a large percentage of greenhouse gases come from transportation – and we all know that GHGs lead to global warming which leads to climate change which has been giving us extreme weather situations that have been really, really destructive.
All I know is this. We all just want to stay healthy and alive as much and for as long as we can.
The future will be safer if we all work together now. If you wanna know more, please visit the movement’s website at http://sharetheroads.net.
Please spread word about the movement as well. Thank you very much.