One of the ways to apply circular economy thinking in transportation is to transition from a product-based to a service-based model, i.e. reducing private vehicle ownership and use. This is somehow reflected in recent developments: from ridesharing, bike-sharing to car-sharing services in various countries. However, studies show that private vehicle ownership will continue to outgrow public transport use in developing countries up to the next decade as income levels rise. Recent vehicle ownership statistics in the Philippines support this. In this study, spatial decomposition methodology is used to compare the drivers to increasing traffic flow in different regions of the Philippines. The effects of potential explanatory factors including population, economic activity, travel intensity and modal structure to regional differences in traffic flow are estimated. Interestingly, results show that high traffic flow is only either driven by high economic activity, or high travel intensity – never both at the same time. High economic activity regions also tend to have low travel intensity, and vice versa. Insights can be drawn from the results to formulate policy recommendations for controlling increasing traffic flow.