Japan grants P4-B loan to help decongest Metro traffic

The Japanese government will be providing some P4 billion to the Philippines for road projects aimed at decongesting monstrous traffic jams in Metro Manila.

Noriaki Niwa, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said the loan will cover major interchanges to address traffic congestion in Metro Manila, including flyovers, and road links.

Among them are the interchanges on EDSA/Roosevelt/Congressional, EDSA/West/North, and C-5/Green Meadows and North/Mindanao Avenue.

“This is to help Metro Manila sustain growth and develop it as an attractive investment destination,” said Niwa.

“We aim to continue working with the government to enhance connectivity and mitigate traffic congestion and other hazard risks and urban issues through our cooperation projects,” he added.

JICA has been working with the Philippines in preparing the Transport Infrastructure Roadmap for Metro Manila and its surrounding areas last year.

The Roadmap outlines short and long-term strategies to decongest traffic, develop regional growth centers, and enhance the living conditions of people living in Metro Manila, and nearby areas.

The Roadmap study has cited, among other things, the urgency to decongest traffic estimated to cost the country P6B per day by 2030 if not addressed.

Data showed that Metro Manila currently accounts for 37 percent of the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product.

The loan agreement was recently signed between Niwa and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

JICA is a strategic development partner of the Philippines since the 1960s, contributing some 70 billion yen development assistance as of 2012, and remains a top donor to the Philippines.