Decongestion seen as key to sustaining growth in Metro Manila
Manila Bulletin.Com by Madelaine B. Miraflor, 11-27-2014
Amid slower economic growth in the third quarter, a real estate
report suggested that in order to sustain the country's overall
positive economy, it's capital, Manila, has to be decongested,
which should be backed by the "necessary infrastructure".
During the third quarter, Philippine gross domestic product went
up 5.3 percent, slower than the 6.4-percent growth it did in the
same period last year.
Brought about by weak government spending, this is the slowest
increase the GDP had since 2011.
KMC MAG Group noted in its third quarter report that the
Philippines will need to focus on two key issues-decongesting Metro
Manila and building the necessary infrastructure-in order to stay
ahead and to sustain the economic momentum.
"The long-term economic growth of the Philippines is dependent
on whether or not it can address the issue of decongestion and make
smart, sustainable decisions to improve its infrastructure," said
Michael McCullough, Managing Director of KMC MAG Group.
"If the Philippines can bring the growth in Manila to other
areas within the country and support that with infrastructure, then
we see no reason why it wouldn't fulfill its promise of being the
next Asian miracle," McCullough added.
The real estate services agency highlighted that efforts to
decongest have become more visible, with business parks and special
economic zones being built in provinces outside Metro Manila, such
as Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas, and in areas outside of Luzon,
such as Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga.
Meanwhile, within Metro Manila, developers are exploring Quezon
City and Bay City in Pasay as potential central business
"Previous investments by the government and the private sector
have shown that these areas can grow into central business
districts," said McCullough.
"For both Quezon City and Bay City, it will be critical to
provide more public transport options and ensure that social
services are in place for these two areas to fully develop," he
McCullough also pointed out that spatial planning will be
critical to ensuring that new business districts will not
experience the same degree of congestion.
"The new business districts will need to move away from building
because the demand is there or because the workforce is there, and
instead move toward managing the diverse spatial needs of various
stakeholders," said McCullough.
To support these decongestion efforts, he recommended that as
more urban areas be set up outside of Metro Manila, the government
must invest in infrastructure to improve the transportation network
and integrate the different networks around the country.
The World Economic Forum 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Report
showed the Philippines still ranked low in terms of transport
infrastructure, with its seaport infrastructure ranking 101st and
its airport ranking 108th.
KMC MAG Group, Inc. is an international real estate services
firm based in the Philippines.