Metro Manila – the full catastrophe – One: Public Transport

Zorba the Greek called himself the full catastrophe, something one could also call Metro Manila. If one were a true blue Marcos loyalist, one might wonder why President Marcos Jr. has not reinstated his mother as its Governor. Historian Xiao Chua mentions Nathaniel von Einsiedel as one of her major technocrats, one later instrumental in convincing Cory to keep the Metro Manila Commission in its modified form, the MMDA.

The larger the city the more it has issues. Berlin with over 3 million can already be quite rough on the edges, what more Metro Manila with officially 13.5 million? Istanbul is certainly more populous with 15.6 million, but not as densely populated. The statistics clearly show that Manila itself is the most densely populated city worldwide, and three other cities in Metro Manila are among the Top 10. Centralistic politics can cause that – thus no wonder that Paris is also one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

Getting people around is one of the major issues in cities, and a universal phenomenon are bottlenecks. Istanbul has the Bosporus as its bottleneck, and even the third bridge has relieved matters a bit but not solved them. Manila has the Pasig River with the C5 and Skyway in addition to EDSA. Thinking a bit further leads to public transport to increase the number of people, not cars, that can be moved between places. Thus the Metro Manila subway will be a third line crossing the Pasig, after the LRT1 and MRT3.

This Twitter thread by a younger person who has worked in the Philippine transport sector shows that “not applicable here” is a typical thought barrier many have there. Even if true, one should then look at what the differences are and adapt approaches – or look at places with similar situations including culture. Jakarta has done a lot using BRTs, with a system of vans called Mikrotrans as feeders to main hubs, replacing the old “angkot” system and giving its drivers jobs instead of precarious micro-entrepreneurship.

Bangkok has also hugely extended its urban rail systems in the past two decades. In both Bangkok and Jakarta examples which are shown as Vlogs, I suggest a comparative look at how accessible the stations are compared to the infamous MRT3 in Manila. And Jakarta obviously has professionals using its systems to go to work, even as that city is known to have slums similar on size to Manila, thus the system seems to be safe. So even as it is hard to fix Metro Manila, there are recipes one can adapt from elsewhere.

Mikrotrans in Jakarta (source: Wikimedia commons)

Those are just a few aspects of public transport in Metro Manila, and I do not claim to be an expert, just a layman who has always been interested in diverse aspects of urbanism. Looking forward to a lively discussion about this topic, and further topics in this series.

Irineo B. R. Salazar

Munich, 14 May 2023

157 Responses to “Metro Manila – the full catastrophe – One: Public Transport”
  1. I asked ChatGPT the following: “what are the challenges and chances of public transport in Metro Manila?”

    The answer was:


    1. Traffic congestion: Metro Manila is known for its heavy traffic, which affects the efficiency of public transport systems.

    2. Inefficient public transport networks: Metro Manila has a fragmented public transport system that involves multiple operators, leading to confusion among commuters.

    3. Safety concerns: Crime and accidents are a common problem in public transport in Metro Manila.

    4. Poor infrastructure: The city lacks proper infrastructure and facilities for public transport, such as bus stops and terminals.

    5. Lack of government support: The government has been slow in implementing policies and regulations that aim to improve public transport.


    1. Emerging technologies: The adoption of advanced technologies, such as electric vehicles and ride-hailing applications, can help improve the efficiency of public transport systems.

    2. Growing demand: With the increasing population and tourist arrivals in Metro Manila, there is a growing demand for reliable and efficient public transport.

    3. Government initiatives: The government has recently launched several initiatives, such as the Bus Rapid Transit system and the modernization of jeepneys, that aim to improve public transport in Metro Manila.

    4. Public-private partnerships: Collaboration between the government and private sector can improve the quality of public transport services and encourage greater investment in the sector.

    5. Consumer education: Raising public awareness about the benefits of public transport and promoting its use can lead to greater acceptance and utilization of public transport systems in Metro Manila.”

    • kasambahay says:

      peak times and rush hours are always hellish. all other times (offpeak, 10am – 2pm) are not so bad. public transport have empty seats and commuters are not that rude, anxious or stressed. sometimes though, there are fewer buses and jeepneys during offpeak.

      as commuter, nasanay na ako and have adapted to the hellish traffic condition often traveling 4hrs just to get to and from work, and sometimes having to eat on the run. I have yet to choke though, lol!

      then, I got a place closer to work where I can walk 10 minutes to work, easy walking to shopping centers too, and also to church not bec I’m religious but mostly to escape the noise and the bustle of this frenetic city where everyone is always rushing. the air quality around my place is not that good, but beggars cannot be choosers. sometimes, when I wake up in the morning, my nose is black with snoots! using stand alone air purifier seems to work but I often switch it off at night for fear of it catching fire and making crispy pata out of me.


    ..Saifullah, 54, the driver of the Jak-08 Mikrotrans, which serves the Tanah Abang-Benhil route, admitted that his income has increased qq to before the angkot he was driving was integrated with Mikrotrans. Even more fortunate, he is currently working without being burdened with target passengers.

    “Our salaries are from the government, all from the government, we just work, everything is financed by the regional government,” Saifullah told KBA News at the Tanah Abang Mikrotrans terminal, Central Jakarta on Thursday, January 13, 2022.

    Said Saifullah, the salary system for Mikrotrans drivers is not monthly but daily, but what the drivers are chasing is not passengers but kilometers. “The salary is not monthly, only per day or daily, it is calculated as a day’s income, so if we don’t work, we don’t get a salary,” he said.

    Regarding the nominal salary per day, Saifullah admitted that it was very large from his income when he was still on regular angkot. That’s why the welfare level of Microtrans drivers is better.

    “That day is 180 KM, so if it’s 6 pm in the morning 6, the calculation is that one day’s salary is Rp. 148 thousand. Alhamdulillah, so far we have been prosperous, that’s all, sir, we are already prosperous with Jak Lingko,” he explained.

    When asked about the ratio of income and obligations between regular angkot and Mikrotrans, Saifullah ensured that Mikrotrans was very good because the drivers were not required to get a lot of passengers, were not reckless, very orderly and the routes were regulated by Jaklingko.

    “It’s better for Jak Lingko, we don’t have to bother pulling, we follow the rules, so it’s orderly, there’s no recklessness and the driver doesn’t feel burdened,” he explained.

    “Whether or not there are passengers, we still get paid, but we have to follow the rules, if there is a place to stop, we have to stop, just according to the SPM,” he concluded..

    • kasambahay says:

      in our country, public transport drivers’ salary are not really subsidized by the govt. drivers of public utility vehicles like jeepneys, taxis and buses, often work on boundary system. example: if the boundary is 4thousand pesos, anything over that amount is what the driver takes home, his pay. kaya, often, there is competition among drivers to get the most passengers and reach boundary sooner. the harder they work, hopefully, the more money they make and the more money they take home.

      • We have to study and modify the economic model. We can think of it as a decent model but some externalities that are very important should be included in the computation.

        This is classic maximization of profit for both the owner and the independent contractor unfortunately the main issue is that it makes the safety of riders and pedestrians as secondary to the profit motive.

        The SC has pegged the Pinoy Pedestrian’s life at around 150K. This is the reason why bus and truck drivers are jokingly told that killing is cheaper than keeping the pedestrian alive.

        • Actually, Metro Manila Transit during the Marcos Sr. era was on the way to a state-owned transit firm similar to what is the norm in most of Europe. Or if there are firms here, they are subcontractors only to state firms.

          Two things though: Metro Manila Transit – which had its depot where SM North now is – went bankrupt in the early 1980s. The neoliberals were against most state firms as being wasteful of money but there are ways to rein that in. Municipal Transit companies like MVG of Munich have to at least break even to not be subject to bidding, that is a rule they must adhere to by the basically neoliberal rules of the EU, fair enough though an exception was made for Covid.

          Second, not even Makoy, who clearly had more political will than his son, was unable to stop the barbaric bus companies (my term) running wild along EDSA and elsewhere. But that is an issue that the Philippines has to solve, don’t know how Jakarta did it for instance.

  3. Karl Garcia says:

    9 mayor’s and 1 vice studied the bike lanes I the Netherlands

    • The women like Joy Belmonte actually studied the bike lanes, while the men all toured the Amsterdam red light district! Seriously, Biazon of Muntinlupa is probably not like that, and notwithstanding what they say about his Senator brother, I have heard good stuff about Gatchalian of Valenzuela. Even if the bike system there is part of a much larger system of mass transport, which has only ONE fare system for the entire country. But then again, the Randstad (literally: Edge City) which goes from Amsterdam to Rotterdam is one Metro area. Two videos from one of my favorite channels explain the metros in those two towns.

  4. Karl Garcia says:

    The ellecteic cars so far can not be afforded by the middle class They can only be for the Millionaires. I doubt we can shift to EVs by 2040 even 2080.

    • They will get cheaper once the manufacturers have earned the development costs back in, but being low emission is probably not the priority for the Philippines now anyway. Reducing travel time within Metro Manila is IMO.

      Making public transport more attractive is one way to get there but it isn’t easy. Park and ride where you can leave your car is one way, I doubt that even the common station (at SM North and Trinoma) has that offering. Meaning pay a lower price for parking if you manage to prove that you went somewhere with the MRT from there.

    • kasambahay says:

      I heard that electric cars are heavier than normal cars, and dont last as long kuno. some countries have reported that their older car parks ay nagkalubak-lubak na, the damage attributed to e-vehicles. older multi storey car parks paminsan gumuho yong palapag. infrastructures need to be updated to cater for onslaught of electric vehicles.

      plus its not that easy to find charging stations for electric cars, not as easy to find as gas stations.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        This I do not get, how so? ( Heaviness)

        • have to compare weights of drive train and big engine versus battery and 4 small engines. This should be easy to Google


            33% heavier than the corresponding gasoline-powered car it says here. I am not worried about roads here in Germany BTW, many bridges might still have designated carrying capacity for tanks like back in the 1980s when everyone was still expecting the Soviets to invade..

            Re charging stations I see a lot of them over here in Munich also because this is a town with a lot of rich people, no denying that, but out in the countryside it doesn’t quite look like that. Asd to that the time it takes to charge. Hybrids are another case, some taxi drivers like them as you indeed are more energy-efficient with electricity when it comes to stop and go city traffic, but when you have to overtake on highways etc., gas is superior and charges your battery.

          • Karl Garcia says:


        • Karl Garcia says:


      • NHerrera says:

        Here is more on the weight issue of EVs versus comparable combustion vehicles:

        Batteries are heavy. That’s why, generally, electric cars weigh considerably more than otherwise similar gasoline-powered vehicles. Take the GMC Hummer EV, for instance. The Edition 1 version, which has lots of batteries for additional driving range and power, weighs over 9,000 pounds. That’s roughly three times the weight of a Honda Civic.

        That has important implications for safety, but it’s more complicated than the traditional thinking that revolves around issues of mass and speed.

        In terms of crash safety, that extra weight actually helps people inside electric vehicles. Insurance claim statistics show that people in electric vehicles are less likely to be injured in a crash than people in otherwise similar gas-powered vehicles.

        This could be attributed to the fact that electric vehicles aren’t carrying a large metal engine under the hood, so they have more empty space that can cushion occupants. But the same injury claims trends hold true for hybrid vehicles, said Insurance Institute for Highway Safety spokesman Joe Young. Hybrids also have added weight from batteries as well as an engine under the hood. So the difference seems largely attributable to sheer mass.

        But that extra weight can be bad news for people who get hit by electric vehicles, as the added impact force gets transferred to the other, lighter vehicle. [My bolding.]

  5. More on Transjakarta, the BRT system used there:

    Even as Reece from RMTransit has his criticism of BRT:

    I tend to see the EDSA Carousel bus as an example of a messed–up BRT..

  6. Karl Garcia says:

    Off topic but very urban sustainability related.
    Soon the city mice will have to rely on vertical farm rice fruits and vegetables. That is the only way forward.
    Fish ponds will also flourish.

  7. OT this time it isn’t the Sunsilk ad from Thailand.. it is about the Move Forward party winning the elections there, against the odds as the conservative forces are strong since two decades:

    • One of the reasons for the rise of Vietnam and Indonesia is probably that Thailand’s internal issues are making it not the best place for investment. It does not have the big populations of Vietnam and Indonesia. Hope they can get their act together.

  8. Karl Garcia says:

    Road widening do not work but we keep on doing it. they only eliminate sidewalks and parking slots.

    PWD access leaves much to be desired here.
    Walkways, bike lanes, so on and so forth.

    • This is the math behind road widening not working:

      It simply means that the tightest bottleneck in any network – road, public transport, electric, water, drainage, data – determines the maximum flow possible through an entire network.

      That is why bridges in any town with a serious river – or a town that straddles two continents like Istanbul – are the bottlenecks. This is why it is better to connect on moving people than moving cars, as the maximum flow there is easier to increase.

      Unless of course you destroy that by making the stairs up to the MRT so high that the average Filipino takes very long to go up, or make the access to the stations so tight that people crowd going in and out, or loading and unloading. Every detail matters in such a setup.

      I mentioned Spanish boarding for a reason ages ago – having one way traffic for loading and unloading – and escalators that are also one way on each side – makes for better throughput during rush hour. Having super fast escalators that are almost scary like in London is optional.

    • Another important mechanism making road widening not so effective is Induced Demand:

      Factor in that most roads are not for pay then the effects of induced demand is exacerbated.

      • Even public transport can induce demand. Thus, housing both to buy and to rent is most expensive where the Munich S-Bahn has stops in the suburbs.

        There are also predictions that work from home and the Deutschlandticket (49€ monthly for all local and regional public transport all over Germany) will lead to more people buying places in areas somewhat further from big cities as long as their is a regional train stop.

        I have colleagues who live in places like that, but they happen to be “natives” of such places. The suburban sprawl of Munich is about to reach more than just 50 km out of town and might well reach distances similar to the furthest hotel reservations during Oktoberfest season.

        This, of course, touches another topic and Imelda’s other major position as “Minister of Human Settlements.” The politics of housing and generally making cities and suburbs livable.

        Possibly an own article in this series, depending on interest. Reminds me of what a Munich columnist said about how Munich refusing tall buildings initially, unlike Frankfurt, made it grow not like New York but like Los Angeles. Including freeway signs with dynamic text BTW..

      • Karl Garcia says:


  9. Karl Garcia says:

    We are forgetting the jeepney.
    False promise of modernization by past and present administrations will forever pull down our backwards public transport.
    Pressure from pressure transport groups….etc.

    • No, we’re not. That is why I mentioned angkot and Mikrotrans. they exist since 1943 and..

      “Angkots generally wait in that spot until all the passenger seats are filled. If it hasn’t, some drivers use the help of another conductor (called kondektur/kenek) to spread the word and call out to passengers who want to ride in the angkot. Considered Jakarta’s very own mini-bus, angkot also has their predetermined route. Passengers have to know the number of certain angkots to make sure that they are going on the right track. Each number has their route, so if you don’t know the routes that well, you might end up going to the wrong destination. ” but Jakarta integrated them into the system:

      “The integration pilot carefully engaged key stakeholders, this resulted in existing paratransit operators signing a multi-year contract with Transjakarta allowing passengers to use a combination of Mikrotrans (small buses) and buses under an integrated fare for a three-hour period using non-cash payment. By using the Mikrotrans, Transjakarta can now run services on narrow roads providing greater access to more passengers in the densely populated areas, such as urban kampongs (urban villages).”

      And as my very first comment in this article shows the drivers are paid by kilometers now, not by passengers which was very much like the Philippine boundary system – but still they are useful in going to the densely populated kampongs which are like many parts of Manila.

  10. OT I just discovered and fed it this PDF:

    Asked it “What kind of economic progress was the Philippines making in Rizal’s time?” and it answered:

    “According to page 14 of the PDF, the second half of the 19th century, which encompassed Rizal’s life, was a period of growth and diversification in the Philippines. There were advances in communications, finance, and infrastructure from both public and private, and domestic and foreign investment. Steam navigation was introduced in 1848, which put an end to Moro slave raiding and facilitated economic activity in the Visayas. Monthly mail service with Hong Kong was started in 1854. The first commercial bank was opened in 1851, followed by two British bank branches in 1872 and 1875, and by a savings bank cum pawnshop in 1882. These developments suggest that the Philippines was making significant economic progress during Rizal’s time.”

    I had already read the paper so I asked chatpdf: “what about telegraph?” and it answered:

    “Yes, according to page 14 of the PDF, telegraph service was established between Manila and Cavite in 1872, and later extended north to Ilocos and south to Bicol. Cable service was opened to Hong Kong in 1880, permitting instant communication and revealing the regional demand for the services of the Jesuit-run Manila Observatory, making Manila the center for weather information for the whole region. These developments suggest that there were significant improvements in communication technology during Rizal’s time.”

    I also asked “how about electricity” and got this:

    “According to page 15 of the PDF, a joint venture brought electric lighting to Manila and Iloilo in 1895. This suggests that electricity was introduced in the Philippines towards the end of Rizal’s life. However, it is not clear from the given pages of the PDF whether there were any significant developments or progress in electricity technology during Rizal’s time.”

    “How about telephone”:

    “Yes, according to page 15 of the PDF, a telephone system was installed in Manila in 1890, with Iloilo following in 1894. This suggests that telephone technology was introduced in the Philippines towards the end of Rizal’s life. However, it is not clear from the given pages of the PDF whether there were any significant developments or progress in telephone technology during Rizal’s time.”

    “How about cedulas”:

    “According to page 5 of the PDF, cedulas were a form of taxation imposed by the Spanish colonial government on the Philippine population. The cedula system was introduced in 1884 and required every Filipino to carry a personal identification card or cedula. The cedula was a way for the Spanish colonial government to collect taxes from the Philippine population, and failure to produce a cedula could result in imprisonment or forced labor. The cedula system was one of the many grievances that led to the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonial rule.”

  11. NHerrera says:

    OT but important. It belongs to a previous blog.

    We discussed earlier that pausing the development of Generative AI is virtually impossible, humans as we are, in a “Prisoner’s Dilemma” situation with many actors worldwide. But some sort of regulation — effective or not — is necessary. Here is an article from NYT along the line of regulation:

    • kasambahay says:

      someone has to show leadership now that chatbot has been released to the public where anybody bad or good can dip their hands in, and use it for their own gains and purposes, political or not.

      what the public need is transparency, whether the ads they are seeing are AI generated, or the audio books they are listening to are voiced by AI, so the public can make informed decision and informed choice, whether to support and put their money on their human counterparts, or on the bots.

      already, people who do voice over in movies and cartoons are losing jobs coz AI has taken over their jobs. well and good, the public just need to be told and informed. and hopefully, producers of movies and cartoons are ethical enough to oblige and comply. at the moment there is no law that compels such declaration.

  12. Karl Garcia says:

    They say Japan get rids of old models fast.
    Surprise surprise they do it by exporting it to countries like the PH. Like what the first world is doing with their garbage.
    PH has no car
    recycling industry.How is that for road worthiness and road safety?
    But we do have chop shops.

  13. Karl Garcia says:

    Quirin9 started the Jeproks or the projects fie urban migrants.But those are all gone now. BUT imelda had BLISS they should change the mid rises to high rises. That is doable and revive the BLISS.
    Corruption still is a big problem and big downer.
    But as a Senator during Quirino times said: What are we in power for?
    Good programs and projects only skin deep.

    • About the Quezon City projects 1-8, pretty comprehensive:

      BLISS housing still exists even if they have somewhat aged since Imelda’s time.

      QC, it seems, has a good socialized housing project today:

      Seems there is also socialized housing close to where Smoky Mountain used to be.

      The Camarin Housing project in Caloocan looks pretty much like the modern standard, at least from the pictures I googled just now, and 5 stories is OK, not too high and not too low.

      (Too high buildings or many blind corners make for a bad atmosphere in a housing project)

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Very good and nice to know.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        I proposed the high rise bliss to replace the old mid rise ones because it can hold more people. The optics will be left to the architect or the eye of the beholder. There are 92 million legit voters and urban migration will still be a thing. Return to K 10’s idea was for more youth to help their parents in agriculture and k12 be optional for those who want to go to college. I know it sounds stupid. many balik probinsya has failed this might work. farmers and fisherfolk are old people.

        • thinking about this. hope I get to write this in a comment or post one day

        • kasambahay says:

          it’s not glamorous job being farmers, and many are baon sa utang! the govt is not really helping with all that importations of agri products just when farmers have finished harvest and their harvested crops are already in the hands of buyers.

          many farmers were victims of scams and have learned their lesson. yet some still do farming. the only livelihood they know. else they sell their farm and be burden to their relatives and kin.

          • there is just no feasible way to make farming low value crops with our current farm sizes. the small farm sizes is just doesn’t produce enough surplus to have enough savings for the lean times. The farmers will continue to be slowly driven out of farming because the economics of it doesn’t make sense.

            • JoeAm says:

              Exactly! And cooperatives are mostly weak and ineffective.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                If you have ten children and many grand children. A flower pot would be bigger when you divide the property.

            • There was a major consolidation of farmlands in the 1960s in West Germany as they had become too small and fragmented for mechanized farming.

              Even then today many of the small to medium farms here survive only due to EU subsidies, and since reunification the large mechanized farms of East Germany (formerly Communist collectivized farms and before that feudal estates) simply are more efficient producers.

              Bavaria did keep its farms by politically favoring farmers and with large enough farms, nowadays men who drive tractors by day and a BMW to the shopping mall, and a typical 18th birthday present to a farmer’s son would be a BMW or an Audi, though many will study one of the new occupations, like some I know who are IT colleagues, probably they sell their farms to neighboring farmers or to one of the housing developers if they are near enough to Munich.

              Some former farmers on the outskirts of Munich successfully converted their plots of land into rented apartment blocks, so their children or grandchildren now make sure the rent is paid and the maintenance on the houses is done instead of tilling and harvesting their former fields. But of course they needed access to capital, construction firms and legal advice to do that, possibly even training and education. But that works I guess because the politics over here always favored “natives” first, hardworking immigrants willing to adjust 2nd and the rest 3rd.

              Sure there are a lot of housing development firms here, trying to buy what they can and the pressure on town and city councils to rezone land for commercial or housing use is HUGE. Conservatives and economic liberals may favor the former while Social Democrats favor the latter, so sometimes one may find treehugging Greens and the old school Conservatives on the same side in fighting to preserve old forest- and farmlands. Recently the Munich trade fair made a former farm into a parking lot. Archeologists found a Bronze Age settlement there.

              • kasambahay says:

                in pinas we have land reform where big haciendas are carved up and given to farmers. I remembers the aquinos and their sugar plantations, hacienda luisita yata. it was carved up and given to farmers and up to this day, I hear the aquinos had not been compensated for their land, the present day govt is not interested in paying yata.

                I’m starting to think land reform is not that great a success. some farmers have already sold their lands when they were not supposed to, while others are just plodding along.

          • Karl Garcia says:


  14. Karl Garcia says:

    Villar and other developers before him first convert3ded agri lands like salt land rice paddies and the like into subdivisions.
    Let us kot forget c5 was realigned just to give easy access to Villar’s residential and business subdivisions. And Vilmars solution I’d the friendship sticker. Whoa Cynthia Villar was not friendly when she was not allowed access to one of them.

    Bf patanaque lost or rather won a case regarding access to their subdivisions. One politician even beat up a guard b4xause of refusal of entry.

      • kasambahay says:

        she looked a lot calmer on the video unlike the one that went viral. kung kakasuhan ni cynthia yong nag-upload ng viral video where she is seen not in her best behavior; uhm, it’s not illegal to film politicians in public places. she should keep this in mind and behave accordingly. or she could laugh off and say mondays are not her best days!

        her complaint: they were many guards and only one of her! ay moot na yan methink. for she too has guards guarding her many investment properties, and they are licensed to carry guns. armed guards should not faze her, unless they were waving or pointing their guns at her.

        and if she was really agrabyado there were many guards and only one of her, she should have brought her own cavalry complete with panzer division, lol!

        she might be a small woman, but she is senator, has untold power and wider influence, and also richest senator who can do a lot of damage. no wonder, nagkaruon ng show of force ang mga security guards.

        sometimes, show of force is bluff.

      • It was the son of Teves, of all people..

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Also on the run.

          • kasambahay says:

            congress man teves is supposed to be back from timor leste now, after his asylum bid was denied. usually, if asylum bid is denied, one is kept at immig detention center to stop one from disappearing into the community and living as illegal alien. one is then deported and escorted to the airport, ensuring that one is really on the airplane complete with necessary paperworks.

            our authorities may have already been informed, and will be waiting for teves arrival at manila airport.

            kaso, all is quite on that front. no word from the media.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              And at least have a long immigration court hearing then deported.

              • kasambahay says:

                different if teves have applied for asylum by proxy! his whereabouts could still be unknown. if he has applied in person and being held in immig detention pending the result of his appeal – you are right: appeal process could be lengthy. teves can resort to his old trick of lawyering up, and there will be endless appeal after appeal. the poor timorese govt, they dont know what hit them, lol!

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Next article: comment away.

      • LCPL_X says:

        from :

        there are tons of Kurt Matthew Teveses in the Philippines, sons of corrupt politicians, rich businessmen or both. when I was there it was like every fuckn town and city had an Uday and Qusay just breaking laws , raping women, punching guards, etc.

        old women would whisper, “Oh, that so and so’s son, better not do anything… ” and local dudes would humbly just bow heads to their bad behaviors.

        You’ll not have the luxury of always having physical evidence, like CCTV or tiktok videos. but they are really easy to identify because locals will know of them and their past patterns. know their history.

        Theres top down approach, and theres bottom up approach,

        like take LAPD’s example, theres a civilian inspector general oversight with website that processes complaints, which will then be transferred to their internal affairs bureau (or if the case complaint so high up, IG will tap another outside agency).

        flipside of same coin is the LAPD patrol cars equiped with laptops that connect directly to city departments , for example cops on the beat see dilapidated power line or small leak of water, they order a service request thru the Dept of Water and Power; junk in the sidewalk, Dept of Sanitation, stray dogs cats animals, the Animal Control folks, and so on and so forth.

        (actually this system was fully operational during Mayors Riordan and Hahn’s tenure, but dissipated by the time Villaraigosa came to office, but Karen Bass is said to have reinstituted it again, and from the looks of her homelessness clean up campaign she’s back on track.)

        My point is that the Philippines needs a bottom up approach to curbing corruption and especially abuse of power (from cutting in lines to punching security guards to killing sitting governors! ). People know.

        People know, so find ways to tap into that knowledge. go bottom up, get that knowledge already available knowledge by the people and use it to start picking off these dudes, i have no idea how this guy Teves escaped DU30’s EJK, but the assumption should be that he is pretty well connected. cover all leads. take out the trash.

        and fuck these guys. the whole Teves clan should be destroyed whole sale, but don’t go too far like Marawi, prune like roses , cut cut cut. Remember that movie The Siege? use scalpel not the sword. like cancer surgery.

        Filipinos should all be oncologists when it comes to this stuff!

        How do you hurt them? locate their ill gotten wealth abroad!

        • kasambahay says:

          apparently, teves hit man is high ranking police officer! teves has several serving police officers in his employ, keeping teves abreast with what is going on, his intel is probly better than that of the doj chief.

  15. Karl Garcia says:

    I am having second thoughts on the Pasig River Highway.
    Maybe make the ferry system functioning instead.
    If the Laguna dike hi way was unfeasible, this is more unfeasible.

  16. The MRT7 seems to be repeating the mistakes of the MRT3:

  17. Karl Garcia says:

    Singapore rose from third world to first in just 40 years(+-). In 40 years will we level up in anyway.

    We need not look far. We need economic triad with Malaysia and Indonesia. Then Kiltary security triad with them later.
    This first before ASEAN integration.

  18. Karl Garcia says:

    The logic for stopping the entry of second hand vehicle imports is for the protection of local car distributors and manufacturers.
    I think that should not be the case.
    Marketing for car usage will not stop. How do you stop that?

    • there is a price point where the buying and selling declines. you try to figure what you want to achieve target and try to hit that target. Think of it as sin tax but for cars.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        We do not have a local car manufacturing industry to speak of so the japanese , Korean,Chinese, Indian manufacturers will be be needed and be showered with tax perks and exemptions.

  19. LCPL_X says:

    over here in California. the homeless have taken residence in public transit, like buses and metros/subways, etc.

    There use to be police that drive them away back in the early 2000s i was told,but around mid 2000s til now they were just left there to harass the ridership either on purpose or due to a mental episode.

    lately starting in Seattle like last year, people have been fed up. so Seattle has cleaned up. but you can still see homeless shooting up drugs in buses and trains.

    Here in Socal , they’ve followed the Seattle model and have cracked down on the homeless in general both in public transport and public spaces, like parks, etc.

    I dunno why it took like 20 years to realize that catering to the homeless and leaving them on the streets instead of herding them either to better pastures or just away so theyre not a nuissance, took

    so long to figure out.

    NOt a problem in the Philippines because Filipinos already see their homeless as non-people. invisible really. but here Americans are torn between their ideals and reality.

    The big news right now vis a vis public transportation and public spaces and the homeless (addicts and or mentally ill) is the Heely vs. Penny incident.

      • LCPL_X says:

        Soros hand in all this is convincing, gian. but the idea also of putting everyone in jail was not solving anything. both huge pendulum swings.

        And they still are closing state prisons kicking the problem down to county prisons who have no choice but to release. which I tend to agree with because the corrections union and police union are just sucking up tax payers money and then taking it to other states, they retire there.

        District Atty’s like Gascon are attempting to fix a flawed system wherein winning cases gets in the way of actual justice. and preventiont of crimes. So I’m for defunding police and closing prisons, but it seems gov’t doesn’t know where to put the folks that have fallen thru societal cracks.

        Right to die, the Soylent Green solution needs to be added. cuz I’m sure these folks would voluntarily chose death. Right to die done in hospitals also will aleviate unnecessary seniors and veterans deaths in very undignified places, discovered weeks later.

        plus the act of going into a hospital to die may also end up saving lives.

        Right to die is the issue that should go hand in hand with all the above. Assuage peoples natural fear of death, tell ’em hey better luck next time.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          i told my self not to dismiss your comments just like that but sometimes they are too bizarre. Some places in Scandinavia have prisons which are like hotels would that create more prisoners or less? Killing the prisoners by creating and manufacturing riots making them disappear is nuts for me. Right to die? That is not a hypothetical genius suggestion, many people choose suicide and euthanasia

          • LCPL_X says:

            yeah, suicide theres plenty of here tooo, karl. vets are found in motel rooms, one i know of drove to the desert with fire wood filled car and set himself ablaze in the middle of nowhere, found a few months after.

            theres an epidemic right now of seniors old folks who are opting to kill themselves in their homes apts etc. many with no families found a few days later cuz of stink.

            Not so much euthanasia because thats technically still murder in the eyes of law enforcement and DAs here, karl. that’s what i mean by right to die. change laws, and repurpose hospitals to not just keep people alive,

            but also to give people dignified means of death. hospitals should be the place to do this not in homes, apts or the desert all alone (and possibly painful). theres a better way to die is my point.

            As for Scandanavian system, criminals are more homogenous there, not here. taxpayers won’t like it, but maybe if its marketed another way like maybe for science experiments, then maybe. there would be a public good, instead of just simply freebie.

            But with MMT for sure this could be legislated in, with UBI, because the forecast is more people will be out on the streets. so housing should be priority, and a lot of it is architecture. public spaces that are respected and held sacred. Quality of Life, yes, BUT…

            Right to Die must be an option for people, since it’ll serve a public good, less people plus no more dying alone, just go to sleep with proper medications, instead of death by fire (actually he shot himself in the head first, then the fire consumed body).

            People shouldn’t die like that, if theres a more peaceful means. Remember this will all be voluntary , karl. but the gov’t should sell it too. the masses respond to well done PR projects.

            • You should check out – that’s a pretty wacky novel set near LA written by a Punjabi-British author from London who now lives in NYC.

              It starts with a loony tunes prologue of a coyote learning to cook meth in the desert from some Mexican gods who only tell it half of what it has to know every time, so the coyote keeps blowing itself up burning itself etc until it gets stuff right a la Breaking Bad – and ends with the family of an Indian immigrant software expert getting lost in the desert and running into a UFO cult, there are historical flashbacks to Spanish friars and Wild Western cowboys, etc etc

              It also has this quote: “In the desert, you see, there is everything and nothing… It is God without men.” – Honoré de Balzac, Une passion dans le désert, 1830

            • Karl Garcia says:

              At least hospitals Honor do not resuscitate requests. And usually they limit resuscitation to thirty minutes.

              • LCPL_X says:

                DNRs and OD’ing with morphine yes hospitals already do this. but I meant, a person should be able to walk in and request death and death be administered to them humanely with very little questions asked with body properly disposed of cleanly.

                karl, over here if you as a mom give birth and need to get rid of your baby you can walk into any fire station and just give up your baby no questions asked. I remember prostitutes over there were always leaving new born babies in boxes to die.

                ohhh… this book looks intriguing thanks, Ireneo!

              • kasambahay says:

                I think people should consider donating their organs before dying. there is dire need of organs worldwide. upon dying maybe bec of very bad car accidents where recovery is nil impossible, donors are given quality of life care; pampered; until their organs are harvested, then they are given clean and free funeral, dignified. the hospital does the lot.

              • agree. I am not happy with the current transplantation safeguards in the Philippines.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Donor cards or anything to show consent.

              • usual style for this is create a law that reverses the default. you have non donation cards. if you have it then your organs will not be donated.

              • kasambahay says:

                mayhap, if a patient is comatose and on life support where a machine does the breathing and the patient is already brain dead, an approach could well be made to the patient’s next of kin.

                the patient’s next of kin has the power to overrule the patient’s refusal to donate organs, thus giving the gift of life to others.

                it’s a gift that keeps on giving, those that have received organs often contact donor’s family and thank them profusely. but if donor’s family wants to remain anonymous, their wish is respected and no contact is made.

                I’ve read of a donor who was big fan of elvis presley and the person that received the donated heart suddenly become emotional each time he hears elvis’ song, and soon become a big fan of elvis too. similar phenomena happening also to those that received organs for they too started to manifest the habit of the deceased donor like eating lychees when they’ve never eaten lychees before, let alone know what lychees are. turns out lychees was fave fruit of the deceased. weird.

              • heart has a clump of neurons I believe.

        • yeah not blaming him, change is hard and foreseeing 2nd 3rd or even 4th order effects when you go with these reforms are hard

          • LCPL_X says:

            Yeah, i think we’re in the middle of this dialectic swing now, but once it settles. Less prisons and less funding for law enforcement will be better in the long run, gian. This is all that Jim Crow and Wyatt Earp stuff from a century ago correcting itself.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Education having the highest budget priority is backfiring in more ways than one. Social services spending can not be unleashed because education needs to top the budget pie. Philippines has no manufacturing mainly because of self inflicted problems aside from the education priority is the eligibility requirement in the procurement law. Urban migration is still tops because no one wants to be farmers or fishers and tour guides.

  20. OT royalty tabloid! Prince Ludwig of Bavaria is marrying his UN employee, Oxford PhD fiancee this coming Saturday. The wedding shall be in the small chapel shown below, while the reception shall be in the modest abode shown further below.

    Seriously, the Nymphenburg palace will be closed to the public. The very old royal family that ruled from 1180-1918 still has the right to use function rooms for special occasions.

    The rest of the compound is closed for security reasons.

  21. Karl Garcia says:

    Africa is the fastest when it comes to urbanization and china knows it that is why they are there, Sudan notwithstanding.

  22. Karl Garcia says:

    When I google “urban decay” a line of make-up pops up. Darn.

    Ud can jot be solved by population control, herding, and what not.
    On mass transport.
    People keep on blaming cars and car lanes.
    So many chicken egg sequential cause and effect things must happen.
    You make it safe to walk but we have not resolved access for the pwds
    You make bike lanes
    Without shifting to cargo by rail. Whoa! Who wants to bike with trucks speeding beside you?
    You go to office and you have to shower once more and get by drinking energy drinks which is not good.

    • To bike properly you either need own bike lanes with physical separation from the roads – and the sidewalks, because bikes crashing into pedestrians are a reality in Germany for instance.

      Copenhagen has own bike roads with underpass and flyover, but that place rarely goes over 25 degrees Celsius even in the two weeks of summer they effectively have.

      I have experienced being pushed off a narrow country road by a speeding truck once (I had strayed a bit too close to an actual open-pit coal mine as these beasts move and my map was a bit old) and had a car nearly run over me at a right turn, both in the 1980s when Germany wasn’t that bike-friendly yet so I know the risks, but global warming wasn’t something felt yet then so I didn’t feel the need to shower when I arrived at Latin class or my weekend McDo job.

      It does indeed happen from time to time over here that cyclists are run over by trucks especially those turning right, truck drivers over here in Europe work long hours inspite of laws that mandate periods of rest and breaks, and there are a lot of blind corners even in 3 tonners.

      I had a colleague once who came to work with his racer bike daily 20 km from home and used the shower which we had in our workplace – then back home, but these are extreme people. They are enviable though in terms of physical fitness and their reflexes stay good thru practice.

  23. Karl Garcia says:

    Will shower facilities be enough to.make people bike? (Part of bike infra)

  24. There is also BratGPT now:

  25. Lessons from Brussels..

  26. About NCAP – no-contact apprehension – which the Supreme Court has suspended indefinitely even as Manila and Quezon City said that it reduced road accidents. (Hmm is it a reflex in the Philippines nowadays to throw out reforms as much as possible and revert to “same-ol”?)

    • I am a broken record but governance in our country is really broken because of the broken courts and the oddity of the constitutional commissions.

      • isk says:

        Sir Gian, Parang commercial during the time of DZRJ , ” Ang aming mga plakang pinatutugtog dito ay ‘di tumatalon tik talon, tik talon…

    • kasambahay says:

      so hard to enforce, ncap is. so many entitled individuals and their more than over indulgent parents, will not accept blight on their names, absolutely! I should know having been punished often enough, lol!

      in mindanao a sheriff has been punched for doing his job!

      likewise traffic violators got off scotfree and often go on screaming match with traffic enforcers. sure, anyone can contest traffic violation but only up to a point. democracy allows us to voice an opinion, but the right to be heard is problematic. road rage is common, maybe bec people are frustrated they cannot get to their destination soonest, the ice cream they had at the boot of their car is melting, the vegetables are welting and sitting in traffic in this soaring temperature do tests one’s patience.

      how to make ncap acceptable to general public? not expecting a miracle, are you? since we cannot all grow wings and take up to the skies, complain as much as you can to anyone and everyone, but pay your fine, dudes and duddetes and everything will be rosy – until your next traffic violation. scream, swear, pull your hair out and stomp your feet, but pay your fine on time. it may hurt the hip pocket, but it’s only money, lol!

      violate traffic rules often enough, and guess who’ll lose their paper license!

      the supreme court listened to the people and heard their frustrations and mothballed ncap. see you later, alligator.

      punishing the driving public for the govt’s historic mismanagement that failed to deliver much needed road reforms for decades – cannot solely be entrusted to later day ncap.

      • sobrang layered ng comment mo.

        NCAP allows us to have replayability which gives us a way to challenge something and also to find a level of consistency.

        If the program was done right a citizen council of some form should have been involved to temper the LGUs who velieve this is a moneymaking and not a society educating system.

        A lot of things is about economics. Not everyone should have the right tl drive.

        If balasubas ka and is a danger to other people driving a car is no different from having a gun. Mas madami lang situations where a gun can kill.

        If you are not a safe driver the state should not afford you the right to drive.

        • NCAP or in general foto and film as evidence is forensic evidence as opposed to witness accounts. In Germany, there might be the hybrid of cops taking photos and measuring whether speed limits are exceeded, so cops plus evidence. Don’t know if it is true that in Austria cops are allowed to estimate by themselves whether you have exceeded the speed limit. In any case, yes, the accusation that some municipalities place speed limit cameras strategically to milk motorists also exists. The answer might sometimes coldly come in accident/mortality stats.

          Statistics over here are pretty good. Papers clearly state which stretches of road or intersections are known for accidents. And there might be crosses affixed by civic organizations in places where cyclists or pedestrians were killed, sometimes with name/date.

          Of course, here there will be the pro-car lobby, including the Liberals who oppose a speed limit on Autobahn where there is none until now, the anti-car extremists, very often Greens, and the pragmatists of many different stripes. Still formerly light penalties for speeding have risen..

  27. NHerrera says:


    Here’s a bit of trivia. I asked ChatGPT for its estimate of the percentage of drinks consumed in some countries. I summarize its response in the table below.

    To gauge the estimation to be reasonable I looked at the consumption of coffee, beer, wine, tea, and soda in the US, Italy, France, Germany, and Turkey. Water is dominant as is to be expected, except in Turkey where Tea is prevalent which is not surprising.

    What I am less confident about are the PH numbers. I thought soda percentage would be more than beer, and soda percentage more than or at least the same league as beer/ coffee.

    What do you say about those percentages: Joe, Kasambahay about the PH numbers, and Irineo about the European numbers, especially Germany? [Sorry, kb, I did not put tuba as among the drinks I asked ChatGPT]

    • JoeAm says:

      It ends up being a forced choice as US inordinate consumption of milk and soda drives down beer and coffee. I think it’s very accurate, and reflects both economic and social conditions, historically.

      • NHerrera says:

        Seems like a Whac-A-Mole worldwide. Thump down products in one place, they go up in another place. Thanks, Joe.

        • JoeAm says:

          The US has been a milk country since the 50s. Cowboys and their cattle. Why, we even had our own cow. Then McDonalds and drive-in car hop girls gave us soft drinks. None of that happened in the Philippines. Beer in WWII and after, a little Americana I suppose. I don’t know how coffee got there. Mostly instant stuff that I never swill.

    • we could get a reasonable estimate if we just get the production importa and exports. I remember looking at this a decade ago and being surprised how much alcohol the Pinoys consume.

  28. Karl Garcia says:

    Typical issues for which PlasticRoad may present an interesting solution:
    Construction of normal and express bike lanes in urban areas with a shortage of public space
    Improving the sustainability of carpool pick-up spots and parking spaces and making them climate-proof
    Improving the sustainability of provincial recycling sites and making them climate-proof
    Improving the sustainability of railway platforms and bus stations
    Bike paths on soft soil
    Infrastructure on contaminated soil

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Metro Manila – the full catastrophe – One: Public Transport Categoriespersonal AnGoL […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: