February 26, 2018
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) vowed continuing support to the Philippines' key transport infrastructure projects to help address Metro Manila traffic problems.
Under the Philippines' Build Build Build program, JICA is supporting transport infrastructure with flagship projects such as the construction of the 38 kilometer North-South Commuter Railway for Malolos-Tutuban and the 25 kilometer Metro Manila Subway connecting Mindanao Avenue to FTI in the south and further to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, among others to further address traffic gridlock and attract more investments.
At the recently convened 36th Joint Meeting of Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committees attended by Japanese and Filipino public and private stakeholders, JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito shared in his presentation the preliminary results of the JICA-National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) study "Follow-Up Survey on the Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for the Greater Capital Region." Final result of said follow-up study has yet to be approved by relevant process of the Philippine Government.
"The economic cost of transportation is P3.5 billion a day in Metro Manila. If we do nothing, it will become P5.4 billion a day in 2035", said Ito. The economic cost of transportation refers to the vehicle operating cost and time cost spent by drivers and passengers along the road network in Metro Manila, not economic loss nor congestion loss, and does not reflect any assessment of specific transport policy nor policy measures.
"The government's priorities are aligned with the strategies proposed in the Roadmap Study. It is therefore worth noting the steps taken by the current government to pursue transport infrastructure projects that will create positive change on the life of all Filipinos", added Ito, commending the efforts undertaken by the current administration to accelerate the implementation of the Build, Build, Build Program particularly for those projects currently planned and implemented under the strong leadership of the key infrastructure agencies.