The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has reported that Metro Manila’s everyday-traffic led to a Php 3.5 billion daily economic loss in 2018. This figure went up by more than Php 1 billion from 2016’s figure of Php 2.4 billion. MMDA traffic czar Bong Nebrija ascribes the heavy traffic to lacking road infrastructure coupled with the rising number of vehicles in the region.
Alarmingly, this economic loss may increase to Php 5.4 billion per day by 2035 if no changes are made. Metro Manila’s traffic congestion negatively impacts the economy this way due to the Philippines’ economic cost of transportation. According to wheels.ph this refers to: “the vehicle operating cost and time spent by both drivers and passengers along Metro Manila’s busiest thoroughfares.”
Nebrija laments: “These numbers are really alarming on our potential economic loss. That [could already] build us roads and bridges, and [we can] spend it on building more infrastructure. Sayang yung losses na ‘yun [Those losses are regrettable] just because of traffic.”
In order to address these issues, the MMDA partnered with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2018 “to identify and analyze traffic bottlenecks, (and) develop a five-year action plan that contains sustainable solutions on traffic management.” They are also cooperating for ‘Project for Comprehensive Traffic Management Plan for Metro Manila’ as well as ‘Records of Discussion for the Technical Cooperation Project’.
What do you think can be done to ease Metro Manila’s traffic problem?