MISSION ILOILO: The Roadrev Forum
by: Allyn Mae Canja
The worlds largest and most successful revolutions were fueled by asking challenging questions. Every morning, we face the scene of cars literally bumping each others bumper because of crowded roads, people illegally and legally crossing the streets and the choking smell of burnt fuel. Heavy traffic has brought us many problems that need to be answered, but since we’re aiming for a revolution, we should ask a question: What can we do about it?
Iloilo has an answer. As a part of the “we” in the question ”What can WE do about it?” and recognizing the need for a revolution, Mission Iloilo said “Yes!” when asked to help organize the Road Revolution forum. Open free to the public, with Atty. Antonio “Tony” Oposa as the resource speaker, it was held last Saturday, February 18, 2012 at the Victory Christian Church in Iloilo City. Over 50 key leaders and representatives of various mulri-sectral groups converged to listen to the speaker and interact with other concerned citizens. Local Media also came to cover it, from print and radio including The News Today and MBC; both ABS-CBN and GMA.
An impassioned speaker and leader, Atty. Tony Oposa has mobilized revolutions for the environment by fueling people’s passion with his world-changing ideas. He is a great “imageneer” whose thinking has been put into action and has been applauded by the people who share his causes. The Road Revolution is a movement of people from all walks of life to seek to turn around the mindset of the road system – now biased in favor of cars and motor vehicles to a mindset and bias for people and open space.
According to World Bank data, 97% of Filipinos don't own or have cars and othe motorized vehicles, though you can’t tell by looking down the street. So why do the 97% have to live and abide by rules geared toward the other 3%?If the remaining 3% who use cars will be responsible enough to share the roads with the majority, we won’t be enduring this daily burden.
According to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, who was also present during the forum, Iloilo City has 12,000 traffic ordinances. That alone tells how huge the need to control daily traffic is, at the local level. Ably supported by the City Councilors also present in the forum - Jeffrey Ganzon, RLeone Gerochi and the speaker’s good friend, Jason Gonzales - the Mayor remained positive about unifying and streamlining various ordinances into one working Traffic Code.
This is the Theses
Revolution means “to turn around” and that is exactly what the city needs – to turn the cirrent situation around. The Road Revolution actively seeks to participate in presenting creative, alternative problem-solving opportunities to the apparently insolvable problem of heavy traffic. It proposes the equal sharing of the road by the people who use it.
Atty. Oposa proposes a 30/30/30-10 sharing of the road. We can have a lane for people who love walking. The people who ride their bicycle to work can also have a lane of their own. Public transportation and private vehicles will also occupy another lane, folowing a single file system. The reamining parts of the road are for islands and roadside gardens which can be used for vegetable and herbal gardens. It is a simple solution that can turn the complex traffic problem around. It will also result to a cleaner air due to the lesser number of vehicles.
Perhaps the biggest positive impact that this revolution will have is on the environment. Imagine how this will affect our continued effort to mitigate the effects of Climate Change? One less car on the road equates to lesser pollutants in the air caused by production and usage. A huge amount of metal, plastics and other non biodegradable materials will not be needed anymore. More and more people will also be attracted to the idea of biking and walking as forms of transportation thus generating healthier, environmentally-concerned people. Like a domino effect, when we solve road problems, poverty, pollution and climate change are possitively impacted.
Turning Thought into Action
With the number of government officials and concerned citizens present during the forum, it is Mission Possible for the Road Revolution to develop into a new system. After all, the most important modern day revolutions that conitnue to change our world, started on the road.
What we need now is to continue the mission of changing mindsets, and apparently there are people who want to push this revolution to the front-line of what the local government should work on. If there are more forums to educate people, like what Mission Iloilo has organized, it wont be impossible for this cause to spread, and members of Mission Iloilo have committed to taking the forum on the road, spreading news about the data and encouraging a change of mind.
On a personal note, I love walking. Treñas Blvd has been my favorite place in the city. It's a gateway to places I want to go to. While on a trip, I enjoy walking as therapy. My eyes can feast on the scenic beauty of Iloilo river juxtaposed with the buildings along its bank. Iloilo City has a certain charm that makes people appreciate its simple beauty. If more lanes are provided for people like me, more and more people will surely join us, as mindsets change.
After the forum, during the lunch sposored by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources at Tatoy’s, one of our members got to thinking: if a mindset is simply a learned set of rules and ways of viewing life, accumulated from the past, and if in revolutions, we dream about how life can be in the future -shall we call it a lifeset?- then not only do we change mindsets, we must consider now, the whole collection of our thoughts and actions, a lifeset.
And upon considering it, live in a certain way, because we believe that when we commit to it from the outset, we set in motion a chain of events that will inevitably empower us and those around us to living more and more authentically, on the road to the best future we can all share...
Mission Iloilo has taken the first step, one of many, as it continues its commitment to taking the good news on the road! The road is for everyone! Let us occupy them!
Let all of us be of one mind.
May we be of one undivided heart.
Let all of us be of one mind.
May we be of one undivided heart.