Traffic & real estate

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry in May last year sought immediate action to reduce traffic in Metro Manila.

Its president George Barcelon said the heavy traffic costs us P3.5 billion daily in economic losses.

The losses could swell to P5.4 billion a day by 2035 if the issue is not addressed, Barcelon said, citing projections by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Transportation expert Rene Santiago said that there should be more public transportation for commuters and fewer vehicles overall.

Since the increase in public transportation is primarily the concern of the government, I would like to make two suggestions for possible ways that the private sector could contribute to significantly reducing the number of cars in Metro Manila.

Two-day a week

My first suggestion is to impose a two-day a week ban on private vehicles, a suggestion that already saw print in Rey Gamboa’s May 4, 2017 column in the business section of The Philippine STAR.

Through the years, it has been considered by the Department of Transportation but unfortunately, it has never been implemented or even tried because motorists deem it confusing and unfair.

I think a little sacrifice from us car owners will go a long way as we contribute our share in improving the general welfare of everyone, considering the billions of pesos worth of lost opportunities incurred due to the horrendous traffic every day.

Covered elevated walkways

The second suggestion is to construct covered elevated walkways in the following areas:

Ortigas District, Bonifacio Global City and the Makati Commercial Center.

In addition to the reduction in traffic to be realized from the two-day ban, I believe that these walkways could further contribute to the reduction in traffic since many motorists will be encouraged to leave their cars at  home and use public transport instead.

They will have easy access and convenience in going from the various public transport to their places of work and/or destinations with ample protection from the rain and sun.

Appreciation of land values

Moreover, I also believe that more people will choose to live near their places of work and near malls, shops and other essential establishments.

This will lead to an appreciation of real estate property values such as that of condominiums and residential units and other properties in these areas.

Healthier lifestyle

As an added bonus, this would also lead to a healthier lifestyle as people will be encouraged to walk instead of driving in traffic. This means being able to exercise more instead of having a sedendary lifestyle.

Ortigas District

The elevated walkways can be constructed in Ortigas and cover adjacent business centers.

It can start from from Robinsons Galleria to the Robinsons Pioneer Complex and the whole area of Ortigas District plus Greenfield District and Pioneer areas.

Bonifacio Global City

The whole of Bonifacio Global City, the Rockwell Center and Makati Business district may likewise be connected via elevated walkways.

These structures could be replicated in other areas to be affected by the Metro Manila Subway.


I sincerely believe that the construction of these covered elevated walkways would be a very welcome development for everyone.

The different property developers can collectively fund this project. We can all do our share in making our country more sustainable and livable for all.

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Alex Serrano, an engineer who worked in Saudi, Oman, Libya, Qatar and Bahrain, is a Bicol-based Filipino with a passion for churning out ideas for a better Philippines.