The government, with assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is coming up with a 5-year action plan to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
On Friday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) officials, the 17 local government units, and national agencies responsible for managing traffic in the metropolis on Friday have committed to work together to implement the “Project for Comprehensive Traffic Management Plan (CTMP) for Metro Manila.”
MMDA acting chairman Romando Artes said Metro Manila’s vast economic opportunities draw more and more visitors, and this has led to an increase in traffic congestion.
“As the project ends, the next step is to implement the plan. Continuous coordination, role-sharing, funding, monitoring, and evaluation—these are critical matters that must be addressed,” he said.
The approved action plan covers 12 strategies to address traffic management issues in Metro Manila, the most urgent of which is to complete the improvement of the 42 traffic bottlenecks the CTMP Project has identified and the signal systems.
The strategies that traffic management agencies need to start immediately is to further improve traffic corridors; enhance the intelligent transportation system (ITS); strengthen traffic regulations, enforcement, and road safety; promote active transportation; and develop a comprehensive traffic management database.
The master plan also recommends formulating comprehensive traffic management plans by LGUs, strengthening the transportation network in Metro Manila, as well as strengthening MMDA’s planning capacities in traffic management and its coordination with and among related organizations.
MMDA acting general manager Baltazar Melgar said “a concerted action is needed to address the traffic problem, which requires involvement, participation, and dedication.”
Together with the 12 strategies are 10 projects which are expected to achieve the action plan’s overall vision of inclusive and people-oriented mobility.
Meanwhile, Takema Sakamoto, JICA Philippines’s chief representative, expressed their commitment to support the Philippine government’s efforts in addressing traffic congestion by offering to share Japan’s experiences in traffic management, particularly in ITS, and in private-public partnerships.
“No one can resolve the chronic traffic jam in Metro Manila alone, but if we all work together, we are optimistic that there is hope for improving the traffic situation. If we strongly bond together, we can achieve continuous economic growth and attain the quality of life for
every Filipino,” Sakamoto added.
The meeting was immediately followed by a workshop to discuss the commitment of each agency and their ideas on how to implement the action plan.
JICA, in its 2014 study requested by the National Economic Development Authority, stated that traffic jams have been resulting in productivity loss of at least P2.4 million a day.
It warned that productivity loss could reach P6 billion a day in 2030 if problem is not solved.