Updated 12:32 PM PHT Fri, September 16, 2016
Cebu City (CNN Philippines) — The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) acknowledged traffic congestion rising in Cebu but said the city's poor rating on traffic mobile app Waze is attributed to missing information by drivers using the mobile application.
In a written statement, CCTO Chief Rafael Yap noted missing index information from Cebu users of Waze including "driver services rating information and the social economics information which were all marked, 'N.A.'"
"We consider this missing information as vital to have a correct rating of Metro Cebu vis-a-vis the other metros in the Waze survey. We believe that Metro Manila scored higher than Cebu because all their indexes were complete," Yap added.
The CCTO also said that the traffic congestion in Cebu City has been building up over the years because of the growth of BPOs and malls. The economic developments have trickled to a lot of residents in the city, as they are now able to purchase cars and motorcycles as opposed to taking public transportation.
The transportation and traffic infrastructure, on the other hand, has not kept pace with the growth of vehicles. Yap emphasized that the implementation of public transport projects in Cebu is anticipated to ease congestion in the streets.
The CCTO is also looking into hiring more traffic enforcers and providing better equipment for these personnel.
In social media sites, Cebuanos had varied reactions. Some said that there are only a few users of Waze in Metro Cebu while others blame the lack of planning in the transportation system.
Cebu is the worst place to be a driver.— Allana (@yanacaballero) September 15, 2016
..not if you work at 5 in the morning hehehe
Other anticipated projects in Metro Cebu area aimed at easing traffic congestion include the construction of the third Mactan Bridge and President Rodrigo Duterte's promise to put up a train system from Carcar town to the Mactan Airport.
Talking point: Cebu is the worst place to drive in - is this because Cebuano drivers are impatient and are not used to heavy traffic yet?— Chesca Carvajal (@chescacarvajal) September 15, 2016
CNN Philippines observed some of the major thoroughfares of Cebu City during rush hour on Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
People were seen crossing the streets outside pedestrian lanes and were not using skywalks constructed by the government along Osmeña Boulevard.
Some children were seen playing at center islands, putting them at risk of getting hit by vehicles.
Public utility jeepneys (PUJs) along Osmeña Boulevard were also seen stopping at corners and junctions that are not part of the designated PUJ stops.
Private parked cars occupied one lane of the roads and sidewalks along Osmeña Boulevard, Fuente Osmeña Circle, Mango Avenue, and interior roads in downtown Cebu City.
New malls and commercial centers in Escario Street experienced heavy volume of vehicles going into those places.
In downtown Colon Street at the heart of the Cebu City business district, pedestrians were also occupying half of the lanes during rush hour because vendors were blocking the sidewalks with their stalls.