In a statement, JICA said the Transport Infrastructure Development Roadmap for Mega Manila will help the country cut its estimated losses of P2.4 billion a day from the gridlock.
“We want to help the Philippine government attract more investments and create jobs in other areas in the country. Hopefully, this roadmap would be able to assist the Philippines in setting policies and strategies in tackling transportation challenges, particularly in Metro Manila,” JICA Philippines chief representative Takahiro Sasaki said.
The roadmap will include plans for freeing up traffic in Metro Manila and spreading economic activities to Cavite, Subic in Zambales, Clark in Pampanga, Tarlac, Batangas, Lucena and other parts of Central Luzon and Calabarzon.
Sasaki added that once implemented, the plan can help spur long-term investments in areas such as manufacturing, agro-based industries, services, and tourism as well as accelerate industrial development in the Clark, Subic, and Lipa.
According to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, about 3,000 companies employing 800,000 workers are mostly located in the economic zones of Calabarzon and Central Luzon.
The roadmap, part of JICA’s technical assistance to the National Economic and Development Authority, tackles the need for new infrastructure, improvement in roads, and modernization of the transportation system, among others issues.
The roadmap also shows how demand for mass transit in Mega Manila will reach 7.4 million passengers a day by 2030, further highlighting the need to improve the transportation system.
Sasaki said the roadmap cites the need to boost infrastructure development such as new gateway airports and seaports, improved road networks and expressways, an integrated urban mass-transit network in Metro Manila, road-based public transport modernization, and “soft” components such as the upgrading of the metropolis’ traffic management system.
The roadmap identifies the rising population in Metro Manila, increased risks to families living along waterways, a housing backlog, and traffic congestion as among the challenges that need to be tackled to ensure that economic benefits spill over to other areas.
The proposed roadmap also cites cases of successful cities like Tokyo, Yokohama, New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore since between 20% and 62% of commuters in these cities use railways.
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