‘Traffic congestion a sign of progress’

7/25/2015 Randomly Candid 0 Comments

LOCKED AND LOADED. Ilonggos are starting to see and feel the
effects of Iloilo City's booming economy. Is traffic congestion one of these?
(Photo from www.asiafinest.com)

ILOILO City – Traffic congestion may pose as one of the concerns in this city, but it is also a sign of a booming economy.

This is according to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary Maria Catalina E. Cabral in her opening speech during the first day of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting entitled “Fostering APEC’s Infrastructure through Long-Term Investment and Capital Market Development”.

Though she expressed her apologies to the delegates for experiencing that, especially in Metro Manila, Cabral said that “traffic congestion is a manifestation of a country with a thriving economy because people are buying cars, people are using the road in going to work and public transport are increasing because of increasing demand.”

“That is the price that we have to pay for a bustling economy,” she added.

She also commended the smoother traffic flow from the first class Iloilo International Airport in Sta. Barbara town to the city proper.

"The current APEC meeting will be a good venue for the Philippines to learn from the best practices as well as not so good practices of other economies to come up with concrete and doable solutions to the problem on traffic congestion," she noted.

PH’s potential
Citing the report of International Monetary Fund (IMF), Cabral said that the potential growth of the Philippines has risen from 6 percent to 6.25 percent in 2013 aided by the ongoing structural reforms.

“This surpasses the country’s trend growth prior to the global financial crisis and in contrast with the declining trend in potential growth across many emerging markets. With increasing investment rate, there is sufficient scope for potential growth to rise further, aided by greater capital formation,” she explained.

PPPs’ role in development
In order to sustain this growth, Cabral noted that the DPWH is doubling its efforts and committed to hit their target to assure efficient service delivery through public private partnerships (PPPs).

“We have to engage our partners in the private sector to come in and put in the much needed resources to finance the need of the rapid urban and rural development,” she furthered.

DPWH is now on the fast track mode to increase available resources and further promote PPP investments.

As a matter of fact, some of the infrastructure projects of DPWH has been funded by PPP, specifically the rehabilitation of road networks as the agency aims to upgrade 30,000 kilometers of national road network by 2016 to be able to achieve high standard highway that is quality and internationally accepted road safety standards.

Budget for infras
Cabral revealed that this year, DPWH received the second largest allocation and the largest capital outlay budget of P273.9 billion. The said amount is 43 percent higher from the P190.9 billion budget that it received last year.

By 2016, the DPWH has submitted a budget proposal worth P391 billion, she revealed.
With this, the government aims to reach five percent of the infrastructure spending by 2016, posing a big challenge to the DPWH and the construction industry.

The latest GDP shows that improvement in the land transportation systems and installing major flood control systems and other basic social infrastructure all over the country has driven and sustained the economic growth and global competitiveness of the country.

“We are committed to deliver network support of roads and bridges that link our archipelagic country as one -- for a safer, faster, and more convenient physical connectivity throughput the Philippine islands and be convergent with other neighboring country in the Asia-Pacific region,” Cabral concluded.

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