PH can solve traffic problems, says expert

By , on September 22, 2014

Braving the Manila traffic situation (Photo courtesy of PanoBaMagBlog on WordPress)
Braving the Manila traffic situation (Photo courtesy of PanoBaMagBlog on WordPress)

MANILA — The Philippine government will be able to solve the traffic woes in Manila, according to an expert.

Almec Corp. Chairman Shizuo Iwata said that the government should take advantage of its stable financial position to address the traffic problem in Metro Manila. He added that the country has the resources to finance the “Dream Plan for Mega Manila.”

The Dream Plan for Mega Manila targets to decongest the area by creating road and transportation-related projects. This also aims to improve the traffic situation as well as modernize the transportation system.

“There’s money. It’s the first time in the history for the master plan for Metro Manila,” Iwata said.

Based on the Dream Plan created by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), if the economy’s growth continues to its current pace, it can fully finance the plan.

According to Jica, the country should have at least an average growth of 6 percent until the end of term of current President Benigno Aquino III, 7.5 percent for 2017-2022, and 5 percent in 2023-2030 for the plan to be implemented effectively.

If this is the projected growth path of the country, the budget of 5 percent GDP will reach P1.75 trillion in 2014-2016, P5.3 trillion in 2017-2022, and P9.8 trillion in 2023-2030.

Given that the budget for transport was estimated to be at 50% of the total budget for infrastructure, this means that it will be able to get P539 billion in 2014-2015, P1.52 trillion in 2017-2022, and P2.69 trillion in 2023-2030.

“It now has enough money to fund those projects. [The] government has money, private sector, especially private sector, they have the capacity, capabilities and money,” Iwata said.

He added, “But because of the very unclear decision-making process, many projects have been delayed, delayed, delayed. That’s the problem [and challenge].”

Based from data coming from Japan’s Dream Plan for Mega Manila, it shows that the capital was once a well-desgined urban area. During the 1920s up to the 1930s, the population is only 300,000. But the streetcar network only served about 40 percent of total demand.