An official from the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) reiterated the government’s determination to push through with plans to develop the country’s railway system, with nearly 30 rail projects recommended for rollout in Mega Manila over the next 10 to 15 years.
The current administration is giving top priority to the planning and development of railways as one of the major modes of transportation, especially in the Greater Metro Manila area where road congestion has reached critical proportions, said Paul Chua, LRTA deputy administrator for operations and engineering, during a presentation at The Roads & Traffic Expo on October 1.
Chua said under the recently approved Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for the Greater Capital Region (also known as Roadmap 2), 29 railways are recommended for development from 2019 to 2035.
Roadmap 2, jointly crafted by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), was approved last August 5 by the NEDA Board’s committee on infrastructure. Implementation of the second transport infrastructure roadmap has also been endorsed for the approval of the NEDA Board chaired by President Duterte.
Aside from railways, Roadmap 2 also recommends the rollout of 38 urban roads, 15 expressways, 14 road-based public transport projects, nine bridges and flyovers, and two traffic management projects between now and 2035, with a total investment requirement of about P2.8 trillion.
Roadmap 2 also calls for the creation of secondary roads and suburban roads, among other transport sub-sector strategies, in line with the proposal to develop growth centers in the north and south of Metro Manila.
The second transport infrastructure roadmap is a follow-up study to the first roadmap approved in June 2014.
JICA’s updated report shows that in 2017, the economic cost of traffic in Mega Manila had increased to P3.5 billion per day due to the worsening congestion in Metro Manila. Three years earlier, in September 2014, JICA estimated the daily cost of Metro Manila’s traffic at P2.4 billion.
Roadmap 2 also analyzed the impact of the Build, Build, Build program and other proposed additional projects on the transport network performance of Mega Manila by 2022, with a longer-term outlook running through 2035.
According to NEDA, once the projects under Build, Build, Build are completed, the transport cost in Metro Manila will be reduced to P2.13 billion per day by 2022 from P3.5 billion as of 2017. – Philexport News & Features