PH traffic may worsen, to cost ₱5.4 billion daily - JICA

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(File photo) Commuters sit in a Jeepney as the vehicle waits to cross an intersection during rush hour on a crowded Manila street.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 19) — The economic cost of traffic congestion may rise.

According to a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the country is projected to lose ₱5.4 billion to traffic daily by 2035 if no interventions are made in Metro Manila.

JICA had previously estimated that the Philippines loses ₱3.5 billion daily due to traffic congestion.

READ: PH loses ₱3.5B a day due to Metro Manila traffic - JICA

This latest figures come from JICA's Follow Up Survey on the Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Greater Capital Region (2017). The updated roadmap has been submitted to the Philippine government.

"Aside from investments in infrastructure building, JICA is also supporting the Philippines ease traffic congestion to help make urban areas like Metro Manila and surrounding areas more livable, and encourage investments into the Philippines," said Yoshio Wada, JICA's Chief Representative to the Philippines, in a press statement Wednesday.

"Transportation, among other things, is an element that can help the Philippines sustain its growth and economic gains," he added.

JICA is currently working with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to develop a five-year action plan to ease traffic woes.

The cooperation arm of the Japanese government's developmental assistance division is also working with the Philippine government on the Malolos-Tutuban North-South Commuter Railway and the Metro Manila Subway projects.

President Rodrigo Duterte, on the other hand, said Wednesday that he will no longer ask for emergency powers to ease traffic in EDSA, Metro Manila's main highway.

"There's always the hanging suspicion that I'm there for the money. Wag na lang. Wala na tayong magawa," Duterte said in a speech.

[Translation: Then don't. We can't do anything about it.]

Duterte has said that to fix EDSA, he would need funds and emergency powers that would let him bypass the required procurement procedures. But he has apparently given up on asking for emergency powers.

"Let EDSA remain as it is for the next 20 years," the President said.

READ: Duterte: Let EDSA stay as it is