August 31, 2017
The Philippine government has teamed up with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to update the Metro Manila transport infrastructure roadmap in a move to complement the ongoing Build Build Build transport infrastructure strategies of the Duterte administration.
"We are doing a follow-up survey to update and supplement the information in the Transport Roadmap. With this, we aim to come up with a transport infrastructure development plan for the Philippines," said National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director for Infrastructure Staff Roderick Planta during the technical workshop held recently.
Called ‘Follow-Up Survey on Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Greater Capital Region,' the cooperation aims to support a safe, reliable, integrated, environmentally sustainable, and inter-modal transport system for the Filipinos.
JICA Study Team leader Dr. Shizuo Iwata said, "The challenge is striking a balance on delivering quality infrastructure while addressing demand and integrating the transport infrastructure plan in an effective urban development plan."
A series of technical workshops are already scheduled in September and October to update the roadmap. The workshop involves stakeholders from NEDA, Department of Transportation (DOTR), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Public Private Partnership Center, as well as Departments of Finance, Environment, Information and Communications, Interior and Local Government, Science and Technology, and housing agencies.
Stakeholders from the private sector and academe are also part of the workshops.
"We want to help the Philippines create opportunities for all and strengthen its middle class by supporting quality transport infrastructure development. Hopefully, this will help attract more investments into the country and spread economic opportunities to nearby growth areas in a sustainable way," said JICA Senior Representative Tetsuya Yamada.
The Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metro Manila and its Surrounding Areas was approved in 2014 and sets a long-term vision and development strategies for an ideal transport network in Metro Manila and surrounding areas. The North-South Commuter Railway and the Metro Manila Subway are outcomes of the said study.
The study stated that without intervention, traffic costs will likely to increase from P2.4 billion to P6 billion a day by 2030.
Metro Manila is the Philippines' center of economic activities, accounting for 37% of the country's GDP. Data showed that between 1990 and 2010, population density in Metro Manila shoot up to 19,000 persons for every 1 square kilometer. Mega Manila has since spanned over Metro Manila and its surrounding areas Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite.
The study will be completed by November and is expected to be approved by the Philippine government for its implementation.