November 28, 2022
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) held the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of the Technical Cooperation Project for Comprehensive Traffic Management Plan (CTMP) for Metro Manila at the MMDA Head Office on November 18, 2022, culminating in the approval of the 5-year Action Plan on Comprehensive Traffic Management in the presence of National Government Agencies (NGAs) and Local Government Units (LGUs) in Metro Manila.
The CTMP has been supported since 2019 by JICA's three-year cooperation with the aim to maximize the mobility of road users in a sustainable way through the identification and data-driven analysis of traffic bottlenecks, development of concretized action plan for improved traffic management, and capacity enhancement of MMDA and LGUs in traffic management planning, implementation, and evaluation.
In order to mitigate traffic congestion, it is critical to ensure that the traffic volume and flow can be smoothly controlled and managed, and the traffic facilities, such as traffic signals and intelligent transport system (ITS), are effectively utilized. Under the CTMP, 209 traffic bottlenecks were identified by the evidence-based approach, and among these, 42 congestion points were categorized as major bottlenecks to be urgently improved. Also, a few pilot projects on traffic management were implemented, including retiming of existing signals, modification of intersection geometry and pavement markings, installation of traffic signs, relocation of bus stops and so on.
JICA's Technical Cooperation Project is an essential piece of a comprehensive approach in addressing the perennial traffic congestion in urban areas, combined with hard transportation infrastructure, such as JICA-funded Metro Manila Subway and North South Commuter Railway.
SAKAMOTO Takema, JICA Chief Representative, said "We would like to reassure our commitment and aspiration in supporting the Philippine Government's efforts in addressing traffic congestion through various measures, including the improvement of traffic management in tandem with the development of quality infrastructure under the Philippine Government's Build Better More program." He also emphasized the importance of a sustainable coordination mechanism among MMDA, NGAs and LGUs to realize the full implementation of the 5-year action plan. "No one can resolve the chronic traffic jam in Metro Manila alone, but if together with all of you, we are optimistic that there is hope in improving the traffic situation. If we strongly bond together, we can achieve continuous economic growth and attain the quality lives of every Filipino. Let's turn ‘Impossible' into ‘I'm possible'."
MMDA Acting Chairman Atty. Romando Artes reminded the participants that "the harder parts are now about to begin. The next step is to implement the plan. Continuous coordination, role-sharing, funding, monitoring and evaluation - these are critical matters that must be addressed."
After the final JCC meeting where the 5-year Action Plan on Comprehensive Traffic Management was approved, technical staff comprised of NGAs, the LGUs in Metro Manila and members of the academe and private sector convened to discuss the roles of each agency moving forward. The necessity of sustainable coordination mechanism among stakeholders was reaffirmed through the constructive discussion.
JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema (left) and MMDA Acting Chairman Atty. Romando Artes (right) at the MMDA Head Office. Photo by MMDA.
Officials and representatives from MMDA, JICA and transport related agencies during the 5th Joint Coordination Committee. Photo by MMDA.