Freeman Cebu Business

ECCP to Cebu leaders solve traffic woes to lure investments

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — As the Cebu economy continues to grapple with the serious negative impact of traffic congestion, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines urges the government to solve the problem if it wants Cebu to continue to attract investments.

ECCP president Nabil Francis urged the government to expedite the building of infrastructure projects that would help ease the worsening traffic in Cebu, which has long cost billions in daily economic losses.

"Given its serious negative implications, we urge both public and private sectors to work together in crafting sustainable traffic management solutions including improved infrastructure and transportation systems as well as proper enforcement of traffic laws," Francis told The FREEMAN yesterday when asked about his take on Cebu's infrastructure development.

The business leader said the foreign chamber wants the present administration to prioritize key infrastructure projects that would address Cebu's urbanization challenges including traffic.

Francis remained optimistic on Cebu's economic potential despite these problems.

"Cebu continues to be a promising location for businesses to set up shop outside Metro Manila," he noted.

"We look forward to Cebu's continuous growth as one of the booming trade and investment hubs. Nevertheless, the Queen City of the South also experiences road congestions, power outages and water shortages which affect the quality of life of Cebuanos and the attractiveness of Cebu as an investment destination."

Francis said these urban problems have caused significant economic losses, citing the disruption in the supply chain, low productivity of the workforce and decrease in tourism prospects.

He even cited a previous study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, estimating that heavy traffic in Cebu had resulted to around P1.1 billion in economic losses per day.

The government had said it was working for a mass transport project to be implemented in Cebu.

Udenna Infrastructure Corp. of business tycoon Dennis Uy had been granted the original proponent status for its proposed monorail in Cebu under its unsolicited proposal to the Department of Transportation.

Presidential Assistant for Visayas Michael Dino earlier backed the project, saying it is faster to build, consumes less footprint and has the carrying capacity for Cebu’s needs.

 "Cebu has been clamoring for a modern mass transport system for almost 30 years now," he had said.

He was positive the project would be endorsed to Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for a technical review.

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