JICA positive about PHL transport roadmap projects

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Sept 30 (PNA) — A Japanese government agency on Wednesday expressed optimism that with the Transport Roadmap, infrastructure development in the Philippines will eventually materialize.

“We believe that (these) projects will be materialized,” Japanese International Cooperation Angecy (JICA) chief representative Noriaki Niwa said during the Philippine Economic Briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Niwa was referring to the plans proposed in the Transport Roadmap, which used to be called a Dream Plan as it mapped out the best case scenarios for the country’s infrastructure development.

In his speech, Niwa tackled the roadmap for transport infrastructure development for Metro Manila and surrounding areas noting that there were different methods to redefine spatial structure.

The roadmap includes establishment of road networks and expressways, subways, railways, and other transportation systems for Metro Manila and surrounding areas up to 2030.

It is also meant to ease mobility and ensure sufficient infrastructure to meet the requirements of a growing population and rising business activities in the covered areas.

Niwa then showed a video presentation which pointed out how the roadmap seeks to achieve “5 NOs” for Metro Manila and surrounding areas namely no traffic congestion, no household in hazardous conditions, no barriers for seamless mobility, no excessive cost burden for low-income groups, and no air pollution.

He further said that although challenges came with development, there was no reason for the roadmap to fail as long as there was commitment on the part of both public and private sectors.

“If the Philippine government will invest five percent of its GDP (gross domestic product) for infrastructure development in the years to plan, the Dream Plan can come true,” Niwa said.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson, for his part, stressed that the once Dream Plan has already been embedded in the Transport Roadmap.

“The Transport Roadmap, which used to be called a “Dream Plan,” is no longer just a dream; it is already part of the roadmap of the Philippine government,” Singson said.

Singson, meanwhile, pointed out most of the road projects under the Transport Roadmap are already in various stages of development either through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program or through government funding. (PNA)