by: Allyxon Cua
A barely four-kilometer ride from our home to the workplace used to take 10 minutes before the so-called carmageddon reached its peak in Metro Manila. Other monikers about the rumored worst traffic in the world include "may forever" and “EDSA parking lot”; true enough, the one hour I now spend on the road feels like forever. Lately, it's almost as if my work hours start as soon as the car comes to a standstill. My waiting time is usually spent going through AMTI's social media pages and responding to work-related Viber messages. We even had to implement a flexible work schedule to give more leeway to our employees, especially to the commuters, as they deal with everyday traffic.
In 2015, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) then-Director General Arsenio Balisacan stated that the traffic crisis is heavily plaguing the Philippine economy, estimating the economic loss at P3 billion per day1. Without intervention, the economic cost of the daily bottleneck is likely to reach P6 billion a day by 2030, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) noted. "It's really terrible. It says a lot about the inability of the government to manage a public service. We need a strong transport planning system. The government should play a big part in this," former Director General Balisacan added.
Much has been said about addressing this problem through the management’s perspective. Some initiatives taken by the government in response to the worsening traffic situation are the implementation of the number coding scheme, the implementation of flexible work arrangements by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the designation of pick up and drop off points of public transportation.
However, we may need to look further into the idea of exploring our technological options in solving this crisis. With the capabilities that modern technologies have, the seemingly insurmountable problems we face in the city could potentially be decreased radically, if not eradicated completely.
Investing in State-of-the-Art Technology
The cities with the best traffic management systems worldwide all use technology to alleviate the gridlock and improve the traffic flow. In Australia, the Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS) was developed by computer programmers and traffic engineers in the 1970s. SCATS uses camera or induction loops in the pavement to assess the number of vehicles at an intersection, adapting the timing of traffic lights through a central datacenter. The same technology is also being used in other places around the world including Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tehran, Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City, and Dublin2.
Another technological solution to Metro Manila’s woes is Intelligent Video Surveillance (IVS). A timely innovation in surveillance and security, IVS combines the adaptability and scrutiny of smart systems and Artificial Intelligence (AI) while improving the classic components of a CCTV. Through better video resolution and integrated software analytics, the IVS can scan all the elements of a live video stream, differentiate and recognize various objects, detect specific movement, and adapt to track suspicious or familiar instances.
Hitting Two Birds with One Stone
Another battle we take on everyday is the high crime rate in the metro. Add this to the age-old problem of traffic and Metro Manila instantly becomes a melting pot of problems.
However, so much of our technologies are made to serve more than just one purpose. Take the previously mentioned IVS as an example. IVS processes visual data and eventually distinguishes humans from other objects. More accurate than the human eye, the intelligent video scans the entire scope of the camera and detects any minimal movement and change in scenery or objects.
If Metro Manila employs such technologies, the entire system of traffic enforcement could be sped up and a much-needed decrease in road rage, crime, and economic detriment would follow.
New-Age Solutions for Age-Old Issues
Because of continuous modernization, our problems in traffic and crime continue to grow. It’s high time we drop our archaic systems and let our solutions advance as well. Both the problem and the solution lie in innovation, and it is up to us to make use of the right scalable and high-performance technologies to move forward with a clean slate.
Allyxon is a graduate of BS Electrical Engineering of the Mapua Institute of Technology and is currently the President of AMTI. Leading AMTI for two decades now, he has helped it from being a one-brand company to establishing itself as the most diversified and technologically capable company in the Philippines today.
by: Laurence Chan
SVP and General Manager for Accensia
At this point of our lives that energy experts have already determined that fossil fuels – our main source of energy for the longest time – will reach complete depletion within 30 to 50 years, renewable energy is not just an alternative anymore but a solution for the gap that crude oil or coal just cannot fill. Likewise, we live in a time wherein modern technology enables us to do just about everything, one of which is the revolution of clean energy and its continuous integration to our daily lives.
The very fact that renewable energy protects our environment is what makes it so promising. Aside from this, the supply is practically endless because unlike fossil fuels, it can be reused and converted as needed. Here in the Philippines, various efforts are already being made to further increase the use of renewable energy, what with wind farms being pioneered in Ilocos Norte and Puerto Galera (making us the top wind energy producer among ASEAN nations), and solar panels being adopted by companies.
For a country that’s hungry for energy but is highly prone to the adverse effects of continued reliance on fossil fuels due to geographical reasons, more and more sectors are now turning to solar energy. We started with the solar farms, then it wasn’t long enough until small businesses, corporations, and even schools saw the viability in renewable energy. And today, it is no longer unusual to see solar panels at the roofs of homeowners as well.
A Brighter Future for Residences
The continued drop in the costs and innovation in the field are driving the increasing demand for solar energy, to the point that even residential owners are now joining the trend. AMTI keeps up with this by being a full turnkey solutions provider not only for business owners, but for residential developers as well. An example of AMTI’s projects on energy management involves the installment of solar panels on the new concrete townhouses at the technologically advanced compound situated in the heart of San Juan City.
The Reraon Townhomes is another mark of Metro Manila Construction & AMTI’s commitment to advocate for renewable energy. Each townhouse employs a 3kW solar PV system with a 12-panel array, contributing to the strides toward a greener, more efficient, and more energy productive country.
“A project of Metro Manila Construction, Reraon Townhomes is comprised of 32 four-storey townhouses with the promise of providing comfort and safety that every family seeks. The project harnesses technology to live up to its commitment of harboring families in a secured and luxurious environment: the units are installed with e-home systems, making all electronics—from the lights and aircon to the pipe-in music—accessible from your gadgets. What makes this project even more state-of-the-art is the installation of solar panels on each unit, thanks to the assistance of AMTI.” - Arch. Egbert S. Chua, Lead Architect for the Reraon Townhomes Project
(The Reraon Townhomes is a project of the Metro Manila Construction. Recognized as one of the leading high-end residential property developers in the country, Metro Manila Construction is known for the quality of its work and the excellence of its workforce.)
Solar is the Way to Go
We are coming of age into the solar generation. If you look at the profile of customers investing in solar energy, they are not what you would expect: They are not just early adopters—they’re people who look at it from both the environmental and financial perspective. Corporations, small businesses, residential developers, and homeowners are all going solar because it saves them money in the long run.
This is the period of transition that every market will have to go through sooner or later, and different segments of the market will grow at a different pace. But whether we decide to start now or in the future, there is no denying that solar is the way to go. And with the continuous growth of the potential of solar energy, more than ever, this is the best time to make the switch.
For inquiries, you may get in touch with the following:
Energy and Thermal Management Solutions
• AMTI Office No. – (02) 988-9788
• Email - inquiries@ amti.com.ph
Reraon Townhomes Project or Metro Manila Construction
• Arch. Egbert S. Chua – 0906-430-3808
• Check Facebook Page
Laurence served as the Managing Director of Emerson Network Power Philippines for seven years before joining AMTI in 2008. Now, he is the AMTI’s SVP and GM for Managed Services while also being the SVP for Admin and Finance of AMTI Computers Subic Inc.