It's one thing to know that you're living in an area that's heavily congested when it comes to traffic, but its another thing entirely to know that it's the second worst... in the world. Yay.

According to Dutch company TomTom International BV, Manila ranked second worldwide when it comes to traffic congestion in 2019, citing that congestion levels were at 71%. According to the report the company released, Manila's congestion is second only to Bengaluru in India which, unusually, is also at 71%. Bogota in Colombia is in third at 68%.

Consulting their report, TomTom says that the congestion level percentage refers to the extra time a motorist will spend on the road during peak hours as compared to off-peak traffic. They did not specify what times of day they were benchmarking, but if we follow that logic, if your urban daily drive can take about 30 minutes during off-peak hours the same drive will take about 51.3 minutes during peak hours.

Other cities that were mentioned in the TomTom Traffic Index 2019 included Mumbai (India, 65%), Pune (India, 59%), Moscow Region (Russia, 59%), Lima (Peru, 57%), New Delhi (India, 56%), Istanbul (Turkey, 55%), and Jakarta (Indonesia, 53%). There were a total of 416 cities from all over the world in the report.

There are some question marks that need to be mentioned with the TomTom report though. The first is that they mentioned Manila, not Metro Manila; we can reasonably argue they meant the latter, but until they clarify, we won't know for sure.

The second is that TomTom's new range of apps and devices aren't as widely used in the Philippines (or the world) when compared to Waze and Google Maps; both of the latter are owned by Google. In the years prior to the widespread use of Waze and Google Maps, TomTom primarily competed in the GPS navigation device market against the likes of Garmin. Currently they're marketing an app called TomTom Go, and there were recent reports about a partnership with Huawei for navigation when or if the company has to forego Google.

The not-so-widespread use of TomTom does raise some questions about the sample size, how the data was gathered, and ultimately the validity. In October 2019, Waze said that Manila was the worst place in the world based on traffic, citing that it takes 4.9 minutes to drive 1 kilometer in heavy traffic. Given the prevalent use of Waze by motorists, the data's validity wasn't doubtful.

You can visit the TomTom website so you can evaluate the report for yourself.