Friday, October 30, 2015

Transport Econ 16, Stratbase ADR Institute forum on Manila Transport Infra Solutions

Solving, or worsening, the traffic congestion in Metro Manila and neighboring cities and provinces is a subject that seems to have created hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of "experts" on the subject. Almost everyone has a great plan and solution/s how to address the problem, some of which are useful, some may be not.

Listening to real experts and people in the sector therefore, in a live, non-stop exchange of ideas, is a big treat. I myself have my own views and proposals how to address the problem but given the field of invited participants and speakers yesterday, I opted to just listen.

I am referring to the Stratbase Albert Del Rosario Institute (ADRi) Round Table Discussion (RTD) yesterday on “Greater Manila Transport Infrastructure Solutions: Thinking Beyond EDSA" at the Tower Club, Philamlife Tower, Makati City.


Opening remarks was given by ADRi President, Prof. Dindo Manhit, holding the microphone. In this photo from left: Eduardo Yap (Management Association of the PH, MAP), Atty. Tim Abejo (CitizenWatch.ph), Dindo, Dr. Epictetus Patalinghug (UP College of Business Administration), and Yuya Takagi (Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA). 

Dindo mentioned about their paper that described not "Daang Matuwid" (straight road) but "Daang Masikip" (narrow road) because of the various "carmageddon" that happened this year alone. Hence, the forum's theme of "thinking beyond Edsa."


Mr. Yap, holding the microphone, gave a short but great presentation, of MAP's analysis and proposals that were also given to government Cabinet officials in charge of Metro Manila and the nation's infra. He talked for instance about building a subway from north to south of Metro Manila, as the technologies like huge tunnel borers are available; or if building above-ground rails and skyways, pre-fab structures are available.


Rene Santiago of the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) gave a long discussion after Mr. Yap's presentation. The exchanges started with Manila's public transpo including buses, trains (LRT, MRT, PNR), the road infrastructures needed to respond to rising volume of vehicles. Then shifted to Manila ports decongestion, optimizing the ports of Batangas and Subic, moving the containers by rail, moving and decentralizing the Bureau of Customs' inspection procedures.


From left: Voltaire Wycoco of ICTSI, Atty. Michael Sagcal, Spokesperson of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Ferdinand Inacay, President and Chief Executive Officer of MRail, Inc., and Mohamed Ghandar, Director, Asia Region and General Manager of ICTSI.


After the forum. From left:
Wilford Wong (Citizenwatch.ph); Rupert Paul Manhit (Stratbase);
Yuya Takagi (JICA); Voltaire Wycoco (ICTSI);
Patrick San Juan and Floro Advient (JICA);
Prof. Epictetus Patalinghug (Cesar Virata School of Business- UP);
Atty. Michael Sagcal (DOTC); Bienvenido Oplas (Minimal Govt. Thinkers);
Ferdinand Inacay (MRail, Inc.); Prof. Dindo Manhit (ADRi);
Mohamed Ghandar (ICTSI); Cynthia Hernandez (KPMG);
Chito Francisco (LRMC); Rene Santiago (FEF);
Atty. Tim Abejo (Citizenwatch.ph); Atty. Franco Sarmiento (HOR);
Eduardo Yap (MAP); Atty. Ed Relucio (HOR); Atty. Lysander Castillo (PBEST).


Not in the group photo but administered the RTD were ADRi Deputy Executive Director Angelica Mangahas (left) who introduced the guests and moderated the discussion, and ADRi Executive Director Atty. Kaye Clemente (right), who summarized the discussion and gave the closing remarks.


Ok, I did not talk yesterday, I simply listened. Now I will talk in this space :-)
To help address, help reduce, the daily traffic congestion in M.Manila -- have less government intervention.

Traffic congestion is an engineering problem with engineering solutions; it is a result of some market failures with market solutions. Like those unsolicited proposals to build more LRT/MRTs since 20 or 30 years ago under build-operate-transfer (BOT) and hence, no cost to the government except securing the road right of way (ROW) and enforcing property rights. Like those air-con vans that bring office personnel from their houses/villages straight to Makati, Ortigas, BGC, Eastwood, Manila, airport, and so on, with just "one ride."

When government says "NO, no one moves, no one builds anything, unless you get our signatures and permits first", then a one-week paralysis can become 5, 10, 20 years paralysis.

All photos above I got from Stratbase ADRi fb album. Thanks Krystyna, Mikee, Kaye.
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See also: 
Transport Econ 12: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Tricycles, April 21, 2014 

Transport Econ 13: On Prohibiting S. Luzon Provincial Buses to Enter M.Manila, August 30, 2014 

Transport Econ 14: On the MRT and LRT Fare Hike, January 06, 2015 

Transport Econ 15, On having 2 cars or more, July 20, 2015

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