Traffic congestion costs Metro Manila P137B per year, says study

By Monico D. Mekaniko

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA –Ever wondered how much money is wasted due to massive traffic jams in Metro Manila?

Although the amount lost to traffic congestion would depend on the activity or business that is being held up by bad traffic, a study published by the National Center for Transportation Studies (NCTS) revealed that traffic congestion in Metro Manila alone would amount to P137.5 billion just for 2011.

Cumulatively, traffic congestion in Metro Manila for the last 11 years would already have cost a whopping P1.5 trillion. Likewise, additional losses from fuel are estimated to reach P4.2 billion.

The study, presented by NCTS Director Jose Regin Regidor, indicated that the financial losses are mostly on productivity as transport of goods and services are delayed due to bad traffic.

The study only covered traffic congestion losses of five occupations, particularly government officials, professionals, technicians, clerical workers, and service workers. The fact that it does not include variables from other economic activities, such as tourism, education, among others could actually increase the amount of losses

Regidor, who is also a professor at the Institute of Civil Engineering at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, showed his presentation during the Transportation Engineering Professional Chair Lectures last August 10.

The recent study is an update of the economic impact report of the NCTS since it started doing the Metro Manila Urban Transportation Integration Study since 2000. It uses the several variables, particularly on travel time delays to look at financial losses amounting to traffic congestion.

Regidor stressed that many infrastructure projects should have been implemented years ago to solve existing and future traffic congestions. He pointed procrastination as one of the reasons for failure in the implementation of these measures.

However, he said the government should continue investing in infrastructure development for it to lessen the strain on Metro Manila’s burgeoning industries.

He identified several projects that should help improve traffic concerns in the future, such as the extensions in LRT Lines 1 and 2; building the MRT 7 that stretches from EDSA to San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan; an elevated highway in EDSA; the NLEX-SLEX connector; and the Northrail project from Metro Manila to Clark in Pampanga.

Till next time, this is Monico D. Mekaniko, Va-va-vroom!


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