ADB head cites need for effective urban planning in PH as wife upset after he was late 2hrs for dinner due to traffic
Admitting that his wife became upset after he failed to reach home for dinner on time due to heavy traffic in Metro Manila, Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao underscored on Friday the need for effective urban planning in the Philippines.
In a press conference at ADB headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Nakao said the country needs a "very effective urban planning" in order not to impede economic growth.
He noted that shortly after the war, an architect had a very good design for Manila .
However, many projects were not implemented due to political instability, he said.
"We need effective urban designing involving all the sectors, all the kinds of political spectrum and business communities in Manila and we should implement it," Nakao said, noting what others have been saying also, that if this would not be done, Metro Manila would become a huge parking lot as cars would no longer be moving.
Nakao recalled that one Friday night when he just came from a trip, it took him three hours from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport going to his home in Global City, Taguig.
"When I arrived at 6:30 (pm), I said to my wife that I'll reach Global City at 7:30 (pm), but it turned out 9:30 (pm). So my wife was so upset. Of course, she's waiting (for) dinner," he said.
But he added that other road projects, such as the Skyway connecting the airport to Makati City was a clear example of addressing traffic congestion.
He said the government needs to invest more on this kind of projects, including railways, in order for productivity not to suffer.
The ADB welcomed the passage of new tax reform measure in the Philippines.
While the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte last December would increase excise taxes on certain products and services, Nakao said, "I don't think it's (impact) negative overall."
He said the government needs more revenue to fund infrastructure projects and social services.
The ADB supports the government's "Build, Build, Build," a program that intends to ramp up infrastructure spending to over P8 trillion until 2022, the end of the Duterte administration, he said.
In 2017, ADB approved $1.08 billion to support projects and programs for the Philippines, larger than previous years, Nakao said. Celerina Monte/DMS