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Infra program to cut economic cost of Metro Manila traffic to P2.13B per day —INFRACOM

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The economic cost of Metro Manila traffic will be reduced to P2.13 billion per day in 2022 from P3.5 billion as of 2017, the National Economic and Development Authority Board’s Committee on Infrastructure (INFRACOM) said Friday.

This will happen once the projects under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program are completed.

INFRACOM, chaired by Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, endorsed for NEDA Board approval on August 5 the results and recommendations of the “Follow-up Survey on the Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for the Greater Capital Region or the Roadmap 2.”

“With the Build, Build, Build projects now underway, the public can expect a significant reduction in traffic congestion in Metro Manila as some of the projects near completion,” Villar said.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) updated Transport Infrastructure Roadmap Study for Mega Manila in 2017 showed that the cost of traffic has increased to P3.5 billion due to worsening traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

Three years earlier in September 2014, JICA pegged the economic cost of Metro Manila’s traffic to P2.4 billion.

With technical assistance from JICA, INFRACOM said Roadmap 2 updated the information and results of the “Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metropolitan Manila and its Surrounding Areas (Regions III and IV-A)” or the Transport Roadmap, which was approved by the NEDA Board in 2014.

“Under the Roadmap 2, the impact of the Build, Build, Build program, as well as proposed additional projects, on the overall transport network performance of Mega Manila was analyzed for the short-term or by 2022, and for the long-term or by 2035,” it said.

The transport projects under study include 29 railway projects, 14 road-based public transport projects, two traffic management projects, 15 expressway projects, 9 bridge/flyover projects, and 38 urban road projects, among others, with total investment requirement of at least P2.8 trillion until 2035.

“We know that Filipinos desire greater mobility. The Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 also calls for efficiency in cities and connectivity between growth centers and lagging areas to promote growth and reduce regional disparities. This is why we are making our transport system convenient and efficient,” NEDA OIC-Undersecretary for Investment Programming Jonathan Uy said.

Roadmap 2 calls for the implementation of secondary roads and sub-urban roads and other transport sub-sector strategies aligned with the proposed development of other growth centers in the north and south of Metro Manila, according to INFRACOM.

With the survey results, the government’s current Build-Build-Build program in Mega-Manila will be fine-tuned towards accelerating the implementation timelines of ongoing infrastructure projects and identifying needed priority infrastructure projects for the long-term to spread socioeconomic development beyond Mega-Manila to other parts of Luzon in particular and in the Philippines in general, it said. —VDS, GMA News

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