MANILA, Philippines – An official estimates that metropolitan Manila's notorious traffic jams cost the Philippine economy at least 3 billion pesos ($64 million) a day.
Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said Wednesday a Japanese study in 2012 found that time lost by people stuck in traffic and the extra cost of operating vehicles in gridlock in metropolitan Manila and nearby areas amounted to 2.4 billion pesos ($51 million) a day.
With a bigger population today and more vehicles on the roads, he says 3 billion pesos ($64 billion) is a conservative estimate. The cost over a year is 0.8 percent of gross domestic product.
Balisacan says government infrastructure spending has been delayed, with agencies underspending due to difficulty in complying fast enough with new requirements to make public funding more transparent and corruption-free.