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Driving In Iloilo City, Philippines

I've lived in Iloilo 3 years now and have been involved in 2 traffic accidents. Both of them were not my fault as the other Drivers (both Jeepneys) who supposedly have "professional licenses" were on the wrong side of the road in my lane because they didn't want to wait for traffic at a busy intersection. But guess who paid?

But surely this is a question of location. Some places I've been to like Bacolod. The streets are wide, traffic signals that work and other things like marked traffic lanes and signs. Driving there is easy and pleasurable. Here in Iloilo I wouldn't recommend a foreigner drive here for a number of reasons.

Here are my top 10 reasons not to drive here in Iloilo.

1. Being a foreigner whenever you get in an accident it's always your fault.

2. Evan with a "reputable" insurance company getting a claim settled here is a nightmare.

3. Traffic rules are rarely enforced or followed here.

4. 8 of 10 Jeepneys and cabs here have no working signal lights. They stop anywhere, anytime, with no regard to traffic flow and with no working signals or desire to pull to the side of the road to pickup/let off passengers, seen quite a few accidents because of this.

5. 1 working traffic signal in the whole city. No marked intersections with stop or yield signs or Evan marked lanes.

6. Jaywalking in the city is common, adding to the congestion and accidents. Evan though there are overpass crosswalks at many intersections, they are seldom used.

7.  At nighttime there is some aversion to using headlights. Get on the side streets or out in the providences and you have Pedi cabs and tricked that have no lights, not even a reflector or reflective tape. You can't see them until they are right in front of you. I've also had them pull right out in front of me or make a u turn without warning.

8. Speed limits ? No such thing here. Especially with these VFH's (rented vans with a driver) they will literally run you off the road to get ahead of you. I was one 3 trips so far to Boracay, a 2.5 hour trip at 80 kph. On all 3 trips had those vans pass me doing in excess of 140 kph and causing near head on collisions or trying to run you off the road to get there faster.

9. I've driven in L.A., NYC, Japan and a few other high density traffic places. I'd rather drive in NYC than here because at least there most people observe traffic rules and have working signals. Driving here is like no other place I've been to. This place has a "road warrior" mentality when it comes to driving.

10. It costs just P3, 000 a month to hire an experienced professional driver. Believe me it's worth it just to avoid the aggravation.



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