Grace Mirandilla Santos, LIRNEasia Research Fellow, is nothing if not persistent. She has been hammering away at the broadband quality problem in the Philippines for a long time now. The big party thrown by the government for APEC leaders in Manila becomes the latest opportunity for her:
A note to APEC delegates: this brand of hospitality does not, by any measure, reflect what the ordinary Filipino experience every day. Traffic navigation app Waze has branded Manila as having the worst road traffic compared to other cities that use it. NAIA airports experience congestion everyday, and most recently was plagued with the “tanim-bala” (bullet-planting) scam that allegedly preys on tourists and overseas migrant workers. And lastly, Philippine Internet has been consistently ranked as one of the slowest average connection speeds in Asia Pacific, according to Akamai, Ookla and LIRNEasia.
The APEC summit is undoubtedly an important global event that the Philippines should be proud to host. However, after this is all over, Filipinos can only hope that all the cosmetic improvements and last-minute housecleaning would translate to long-term solutions to problems in the capital city that are causing everyday burdens to the ordinary citizen. This APEC Summit just made Manila’s meltdown painfully and embarrassingly obvious.