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Chaos, gridlock a daily ordeal for Manila's long-suffering commuters

Updated : 2019-02-27 09:43:50

Metro Manila, a sprawl of 16 cities fused together by outdated infrastructure, is creaking under the weight of millions of vehicles, owing largely to the economic growth of more than six percent a year since 2012. Urban rail coverage is limited, trains are prone to breakdowns and queues spill onto streets where exhaust fumes are intoxicating. Quality of life is poor for many urban Filipinos, who spend a chunk of their day commuting.

Janice Sarad, 22, who works for a bank, sits inside a jeepney in Pasig City, Metro Manila, in the Philippines. Apart from getting stuck in traffic, Sarad often struggles to get a jeepney going to her neighbourhood as very few jeepneys cover this route.
Janice Sarad, 22, who works for a bank, sits inside a jeepney in Pasig City, Metro Manila, in the Philippines. Apart from getting stuck in traffic, Sarad often struggles to get a jeepney going to her neighbourhood as very few jeepneys cover this route. "You have to push, shove, and run because everyone's trying to get a seat. On the train, everyone tries to sneak on so they don't have to wait. On the bus, there are usually no seats so you stand up the whole ride," she said. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Janice Sarad walks down a street to her home in Antipolo City, Rizal province. Sarad usually arrives home between 20:30 to 21:30.
Janice Sarad walks down a street to her home in Antipolo City, Rizal province. Sarad usually arrives home between 20:30 to 21:30. "My boss knows how far away my house is. When I get to work late, he just tells me to leave my home 30 minutes earlier to compensate. I really want to be transferred to a different location, somewhere closer to my home," she said. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Oliver Emocling, 23, who works for a magazine, leaves his neighbourhood in Caloocan City, Metro Manila. Because of the long travel hours, Emocling not only lacks sleep, but also misses meals.
Oliver Emocling, 23, who works for a magazine, leaves his neighbourhood in Caloocan City, Metro Manila. Because of the long travel hours, Emocling not only lacks sleep, but also misses meals. "I usually don't get to eat breakfast or dinner unless I wake up really early, or eat out. When I get home, it's already 10 p.m., and my body is just craving sleep rather than food," he said. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Oliver Emocling uses his phone on the train going to work in Manila, Philippines. Emocling often uses his travel time to read the news or draft his first article for the day.
Oliver Emocling uses his phone on the train going to work in Manila, Philippines. Emocling often uses his travel time to read the news or draft his first article for the day. "Sometimes I really have to bring my work or my rest into my commute," he said. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Oliver Emocling walks to the train station in Caloocan City.
Oliver Emocling walks to the train station in Caloocan City. "I've accepted that this is the reality of having to work in Makati and live in Malabon. This is how it is, no matter what I do, no matter what means of transportation I take." (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Commuters watch television inside a bus stuck in traffic along EDSA highway in Makati City, Philippines. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Commuters watch television inside a bus stuck in traffic along EDSA highway in Makati City, Philippines. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Alejandro Galasao, 58, street sweeper, eats breakfast with his wife in their home in San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan province, Philippines, November 15, 2018. Galasao wakes up between 1:00-2:00 am every day to prepare his food and clothes before going to work. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Alejandro Galasao, 58, street sweeper, eats breakfast with his wife in their home in San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan province, Philippines, November 15, 2018. Galasao wakes up between 1:00-2:00 am every day to prepare his food and clothes before going to work. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Alejandro Galasao prepares to alight a bus in Quezon City, Philippines. Even with the long travel hours, Galasao said he never tried finding work nearer to his home because he is certain he would not find any, considering his age.
Alejandro Galasao prepares to alight a bus in Quezon City, Philippines. Even with the long travel hours, Galasao said he never tried finding work nearer to his home because he is certain he would not find any, considering his age. "I have no other options. This is the only job I know. Even if I find something else, I doubt I would earn any better." (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Alejandro Galasao sweeps trash and dirt off Quezon Avenue in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, November 15, 2018. Galasao spends four to five hours travelling every day to get to his work in Quezon City. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Alejandro Galasao sweeps trash and dirt off Quezon Avenue in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, November 15, 2018. Galasao spends four to five hours travelling every day to get to his work in Quezon City. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Ferdinand Tan, 53, a wealth coach and motivational speaker, speaks before a crowd of students and professionals at an event in Quezon City. Tan spends at least four hours on the road every day to attend speaking engagements. He does six to seven events every week in different locations around Metro Manila, and provinces. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Ferdinand Tan, 53, a wealth coach and motivational speaker, speaks before a crowd of students and professionals at an event in Quezon City. Tan spends at least four hours on the road every day to attend speaking engagements. He does six to seven events every week in different locations around Metro Manila, and provinces. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Commuters hang on to the back of a crowded jeepney in Cainta, Rizal, Philippines. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Commuters hang on to the back of a crowded jeepney in Cainta, Rizal, Philippines. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
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