Manila Will be ‘Dead City’ in 25 Years, Says President Duterte; DOST Warns of Congestion

0
284
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visits one of the food kiosks showcasing authentic Kapampangan cuisine during the Kapampangan Food Festival held at the ASEAN Convention Center in Clark, Pampanga on December 7, 2017. Also in the photo is Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
KAPAMPANGAN FOOD FESTIVAL. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visits one of the food kiosks showcasing authentic Kapampangan cuisine during the Kapampangan Food Festival held at the ASEAN Convention Center in Clark, Pampanga on December 7, 2017. Assisting him is Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda (right). Former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also joined the event and recognized by Duterte for her support.
By CLAIRE MORALES TRUE
MANILA (PhilAmPress) – President Rodrigo Duterte has declared that Manila will be a “dead city in 25 years” as he lamented the worsening traffic situation in the capital and moved for the development of other potential urban hubs outside Metro Manila like the Clark Freeport in Pampanga..

 Duterte made the statement in a speech at the Kapampangan Food Festival at the Fontana International Convention Center inside the Clark Freeport, stressing that it is important to develop other industrial areas in the country as Metro Manila would no longer be a viable destination for investment.

World reknown urban planner Felino Palafox Jr. immediately came out in support of Mr. Duterte’s prognosis of the future of Manila together with other groups like the Metro Reform Organization (METRO) which originally had campaigned for the metropolitanization of Mania and surrounding towns and cities in the 1970s led by the late lawyer and United Nations consultant Primitivo R. de Leon and educator-journalist Alfred Gabot.

“Manila I think will be in about 25 years, will be a dead city. It will start to decay and there is no way that we can rehab the place,” Duterte said.

“You have to disperse the crowd, limit the factories at some time in the future but not really mine for that would be too early. But about 10 years from now, they should close Manila and start to develop other places.  Ito ang pinakamaganda ngayon eh,” Duterte said.

“And this will be able to come with something very similar to Clark. In other places, maybe Batangas or Cavite, mahihirapan tayo. So Manila is no longer an option for industries. We have to go to the provinces,” he added.

But to do this, he said that the mass transportation system should be improved.

“But I think the most practical thing to do is really the mass transport system. And many are willing. It’s only a matter of the grid. Kaya sabi ko kay nandito rin sila Senator [Tito] Sotto. You have to simplify more ‘yung sa ano,” Duterte said.

According to the President, Clark will be the country’s next industrial hub.

Officials in the past like then Senate President Blas F. Ople had proposed through a bill the transfer of Malacanang and the national government center to Clark, a move lauded by many, including former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Duterte  hailed Clark’s growth and hoped other areas in the country could replicate its achievement.

“Clark is a very important destination now in the Philippines. For want of space, kung may magpunta doon sa amin, easily I would say, ‘Go to Clark’,” Duterte said.

“And you have all the amenities of what a kind of a site you’ll have in flat lands and the resources are also there,” he added.

Duterte said that the industries should be dispersed away from Manila and to the provinces.

“Manila I think will be in about 25 years, will be a dead city. It will start to decay and there is no way that we can rehab the place,” he added.

“You have to disperse the crowd, limit the factories at some time in the future but not really mine for that would be too early. But about 10 years from now, they should close Manila and start to develop ito.  Ito ang pinakamaganda ngayon eh,” Duterte said.

“And this will be able to come with something very similar to Clark. In other places, maybe Batangas or Cavite, mahihirapan tayo. So Manila is no longer an option for industries. We have to go to the provinces,” he added.

 Science and Technology Undersecretary Renato Solidum, meanwhile, warned that too much congestion and concentration of economic activities raise Metro Manila’s vulnerability to earthquakes.

Speaking at the 1st National Convention on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction last week, Solidum, who also heads the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), said Metro Manila’s decongestion is urgent, if only to mitigate the impact of earthquakes in the metropolis.

“The threat of earthquakes is big in Metro Manila and even in its surroundings,” Solidum noted.

Among the decongestion measures that Solidum suggested was dispersing economic activities to areas outside Metro Manila.

Solidum recommended decentralizing to strategically located sub-offices, some operations of the public and private sectors.

He said a regional government center must be established in a resilient site to help ensure continuous delivery of state services even if a major earthquake strikes Metro Manila.

Solidum said Metro Manila’s structures must be assessed for structural integrity and strengthened if needed.

He also recommended conducting earthquake drills regularly and further disseminating information on earthquakes.

Phivolcs continues advocating preparedness nationwide, noting earthquakes are among natural hazards in the country and that these strike without warning.

At the Clark Freeport, Duterte said that ” most important was ibinigay sa iyo ang Clark for you to manage and make use of. Clark is a very important destination now.”

The President said his administration is embarking on an ambitious P8-trillion infrastructure program to improve mobility in the Philippine capital and build more road networks and other infrastructure around the country.

Among projects under Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program are the Mega Manila Subway, which is partly funded by Japan, the Mindanao Railway Project, Malolos-Clark Railway Project, the LRT-1 North Extension Project, and the expansion of the Clark International Airport. (Claire Morales True/PhilAmPress)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here