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Top urban problems in Metro Manila

February 2023


I was looking for material to include in my introductory lecture for a graduate class. I came upon this slide from the study “Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metro Manila and Its Surrounding Areas (Region III and Region IV-A)” that was conducted by JICA through a consulting firm and completed in 2014. The slide shows the top three urban problems identified in Metro Manila (or perhaps what we now refer to as Mega Manila or, as what was tagged as NCR plus during this pandemic).


Traffic congestion was identified as one of the top problems if not the top problem itself.  This is not independent of the other two (or other problems identified in the survey). All of them are intertwined somehow as illustrated in the simple Venn diagram in the slide. Affordable housing, for example, affects our transportation system and puts much pressure to transportation infrastructure development as well as to the provision of transport services. People continue to choose living in the periphery of Metro Manila or outside NCR because of the expensive residential choices particularly in the CBDs where most people have their workplaces and where many of the elite schools are also located. These people would have to commute long distances and experience longer travel times than what seems to be the reasonable. The result is loss in productivity and transport related costs that include fuel and maintenance costs.

What do you think about these urban problems? How can be address them in a comprehensive manner?


  1. ronnielim99 says:

    It seems that this report (and all your other posts as well) never reach the decision makers (i.e. government). This is all talk (by you) and no action (by government), and this is frustrating to say the least.

    • d0ctrine says:

      The report by JICA was the basis for a lot of the Build, Build, Build projects government is undertaking so I wouldn’t say it did not reach the decision makers. NEDA, DOTr, and DPWH are implementing the projects now.

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