Arab Today, arab today urban decay threatens hot philippine economy
Last Updated : GMT 06:58:42
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Urban decay threatens hot Philippine economy

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Urban decay threatens hot Philippine economy

Quezon City in suburban Manila
Manila - AFP

Manila's creaking train network means a miserable three-hour work commute for salesman Gerard Galang -- just one example of major infrastructure woes that analysts say threaten to cool the Philippines' red-hot economy.
Peak-hour hell comes in many forms in the city of 12 million people, with commuters experiencing a sweaty, stinky crush on dilapidated trains and giant queues to buy tickets.
"I pity myself and my fellow commuters but I don't have any other option than the train," said Galang, 29, who inhales antiseptic rubbed on to his hands to help negate the stench on the train.
"It gets so crowded our faces get pressed against each other and on doors and windows."
Galang spends three hours commuting to work every day, half of which is spent in queues.
For other commuters on buses or in cars, daily gridlock worsens to a complete standstill that can trap people for hours when even small rain storms trigger flash floods.
The Philippine economy has in recent years shed its reputation as one of Asia's laggards, with growth of 6.4 percent in the second quarter maintaining its status as the region's best performing after China.
The country also recently gained its first investment grade scores from the big three global credit rating agencies.
- Urban decay -
Infrastructure development, however, hasn't moved at the same pace, and economists warn the creaking systems that are of so much frustration to millions of people will also have a growing impact on economic growth.
"Our facilities are not built for an economy that is growing at seven percent every year," Ronald Mendoza, a senior economist at the Asian Institute of Management, in Manila told AFP.
Mendoza said growth could have been faster had it not been for the ageing airports and road networks that turn off foreign investors and tourists, and limit the movement of local trade.
Manila already loses 2.4 billion pesos ($53 million) in potential income daily due to traffic jams, according to a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Among the other infrastructure problems are power shortages that lead to brownouts, clogged drainage that exacerbate frequent rainy season floods and an Internet network so slow that it sparked a parliamentary enquiry.
Millions of people in slums, and even some residents of middle class districts, do not have access to running water.
And Manila's decades-old international airport, with malfunctioning air conditioning and leaking toilets, has been cited by a travel website as the worst in the world.
- No quick fix -
President Benigno Aquino and his team are acutely aware of the problems.
"Sustaining the economy's high-growth trajectory requires continued investment in infrastructure," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told Japanese businessmen last week.
The government is planning to increase infrastructure spending from 2.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2012 to five percent by the end of Aquino's term in 2016.
As part of that, the government will pursue its so-called public-private partnership programme. More than 50 projects are being put out to private builders.
Balisacan also said implementing a 2.6-trillion-peso ($58 billion) "dream plan" drafted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency was a top priority.
The agency's plan calls for an expansion of rail and toll road networks to provinces north and south of Manila, spreading economic activity, as well as a subway system for the capital.
It also envisages a new Manila airport terminal.
Many of the projects cited by the Japanese plan are included in the PPP pipeline, but these have moved painfully slowly due to regulatory delays and court cases between rival bidders.
Fewer than 10 contracts for the public-private partnership programme have been awarded during Aquino's first four years in office, with no projects yet completed.
And while Aquino's intentions are laudable, there is only a limited amount it can do before his term ends in the middle of 2016, according to Mendoza.
"Many of these projects are perfectly doable, especially the airports and toll roads," Mendoza said.
"What's needed is a multi-administration plan... many of them take up to three administrations to finish."
Philippine leaders are elected to single, six-year terms, raising continuity problems.
Manila residents, in the meantime, have little choice but to count the personal cost of the urban decay.
Jury Domino, who owns a catering business, said ever-growing delivery times eat into his profits -- with his vans held hostage for hours guzzling fuel in traffic and staff having to be paid overtime.
"It's a big hassle, expenses rise every month and the problems pile up," he said.

 

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today urban decay threatens hot philippine economy Arab Today, arab today urban decay threatens hot philippine economy

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017

GMT 06:15 2017 Monday ,27 February

Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017
Arab Today, arab today 17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016

GMT 00:47 2017 Monday ,27 February

17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today UN envoy sets out framework

GMT 07:25 2017 Monday ,27 February

UN envoy sets out framework
Arab Today, arab today Kalam Nawaem made a difference in social issues

GMT 06:43 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Kalam Nawaem made a difference in social issues
View News in Arabic - Business: اقتصاد دولي
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Aspires present the story of Egypt’s first president

GMT 06:18 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Aspires present the story of Egypt’s first president
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 06:42 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 10:51 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Pigs with edited genes show resistance

GMT 14:04 2017 Friday ,24 February

Messi visit will contribute in tourism

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 06:28 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Dumbphones survive rise of the smartphone

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday