IF not immediately and fully addressed, economic losses due to heavy traffic in Metro Manila could balloon to P6 billion a day from the current P2.4 billion by 2030, a senator has warned.
Sen. Bam Aquino has filed a resolution seeking to review the existing Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development to formulate effective strategies and solutions to address the negative impact of the worsening traffic conditions in Metro Manila on the economy.
“Commuters as well as private vehicle owner suffer the monstrous and extremely costly traffic every day in Metro Manila,” the senator emphasized in Senate Resolution No. 1532, citing a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
The study entitled, “Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metro Manila and Surrounding Areas,” was conducted in coordination with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and other relevant agencies.
The roadmap was approved last Sept. 2, 2014 by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) board.
Citing the study’s preliminary analysis, Aquino said the lower-income households will be the hardest hit when congestion worsens by 2030 as they will spend no less than 20 percent of their monthly household income on transport.
“Without intervention, the traffic demand will likely increase by 13 percent in 2030, and the transport cost will be 2.5-percent higher,” Aquino said.
According to the senator, relevant government agencies and local government units must contribute by drafting effective planning strategies and traffic management systems in order to improve traffic conditions in Metro Manila.
“The MMDA cannot solve the worsening traffic condition alone. The DPWH, Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulating Board (LTFRB), and the private sector must also do their share in solving the dilemma,” Aquino said.
Among the factors that contributed to the worsening traffic condition is the significant population increase in Metro Manila which now stands at 16.5 million.
“Maaantala ang ating kaunlaran kung ang araw-araw na biyahe ay ikalulugi ng ating mga mamamayan at ng buong bansa [Our prosperity will be delayed if our people and the country as a whole will incur losses from their daily commute],” said Aquino.