THE Build, Build, Build project of the Duterte administration will bring “drastic improvement” to Metro Manila’s traffic flow by 2020, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said on Monday.
In a press briefing in Malacañang, Villar said that numerous bypass roads, the North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway connector, and the Skyway Stage 3 projects will all be done by 2020.
Also, the Laguna Lake Highway and the Harbor Link Segment 10, which connects McArthur Highway in Valenzuela City and C-3 in Caloocan City, will be completed this year, he said.
These projects are on top of the C-6, bypass roads for Edsa, and the construction of 12 bridges across the Pasig River.
“Every year, there is an improvement, that we can guarantee and it’s really our goal by the end of the term of our President [Rodrigo Duterte] to decongest Metro Manila. As they said, ‘talk is cheap.’ So, just see,” Villar said.
“We have a lot of projects and I believe that in the next [years], every year there is an improvement. Especially in 2020, there would be a lot of projects that would be online and we’ll see even more drastic improvement and definitely by the end of the term of our President. [Build, Build, Build] greatly helped the status of traffic, not only in Metro Manila but also in all urban centers,” he added.
The program will also produce 100,000 construction jobs.
Villar said that the increase in the volume of cars was also taken into consideration.
According to Villar, he instructed all regional directors of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to identify the most congested areas and brainstorm solutions to alleviate the problems in their areas.
“On our part, our studies [are]based on reducing the volume of traffic, for instance, in Edsa. If the two bypass roads [are finished in Edsa], we are expecting as much as 100,000 [vehicles]per day will be decreased [from the current numbers],” he said.
“So on our part, I think we are [doing]our part in reducing the clogged arteries of, not only in Metro Manila, but also in major urban centers in the country,” Villar added.
The Public Works Secretary said that the socio-economic program of the administration is running smoothly, and that it is “all systems go” after the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding with China to provide assistance to the Philippines for the feasibility studies of inter-island bridges.
The Build, Build, Build program is central to the Duterte administration’s aim of reducing the country’s poverty rate to 13 to 15 percent by 2022 from the current 21.6 percent.
Increased public spending on infrastructure — targeted to hit P8 to P9 trillion over the administration’s six-year term — is expected to boost industries, create jobs, and uplift the lives of Filipinos.
Villar said Build, Build, Build is the largest infrastructure program over the past six administrations.