IF TALENT, creativity, and resources were the only elements of a progressive nation, the Philippines may already be one of the richest countries in Asia or perhaps even the world. But reality bites.

My professor once said that the traffic condition of a country’s metropolitan reflects that country’s state. If that is the case, poor Philippines.

According to a local documentary I had watched, our country loses millions of pesos every year because of the lack of productivity due to traffic congestion.

Though some people are diligent enough to wake up very early in the morning to be able to arrive on their destination on time, they will at some point still experience being caught in traffic jams, which in turn, decrease productivity.

When my professor told us to look at traffic as indicator of a progressive nation, I realized that he might be talking about self-discipline.

Most countries were able to develop their economic status because they practice self-discipline. Although they don’t have much resources like we do, they have people with discipline, something the country is very poor of. With all the people following rules and regulations, it is nice to imagine that everything could have been much easier for both the public and the government to curb the problems that hound our country.

Though pedestrian lanes and footbridges were provided, our commuters would still prefer to jaywalk. They would prefer to violate rules, to which the rule enforcers would not take notice of as most of them probably can’t even run owing to their bulging tummies. Most drivers here in the Philippines cannot even follow basic traffic rules.

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How can we expect our country to get anywhere if we are plagued by law violators? And as if it couldn’t get any worse, the leading law violators are seated at the top of this defective government’s branches.

Everyone, even public officials and the police, should follow laws and regulations. No one is above the law. The behaviors of commuters and drivers on the roads speak so much about the kind of self-discipline they have.

If we cannot solve our problems in traffic, how could our country even solve a bigger problem such as corruption?

Filipinos should start practicing self-discipline as their first step in helping the government curb bigger problems in society.

Meanwhile, government officials should be the role models of self-discipline so that people would easily follow. Self-discipline should dictate the government officials to stay away from corrupt practices. Discipline is really a key to success.

We, Filipinos, should not always blame corruption as the reason for having our economic status but instead we should look into ourselves what we may do for our country.

It’s time that the Philippines be known as a progressive country and not as a place dangerous for people and a corrupt country. Filipino people should not only be famous for being hospitable and cheerful during hard times. Because these traits, though commendable, would not make us a great nation.

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