MANILA will be a “dead city in 25 years,” President Duterte warned as he lamented the worsening traffic situation in the capital and moved for the development of urban hubs outside Metro Manila.
“It is very important that we disperse the industries because Manila, in about 25 years, will be a dead city,” Duterte said in a speech in Clark, Pampanga, on Thursday. .
“It will start to decay and there is no way we can rehabilitate the place.”
Duterte made his statement even as Senator Grace Poe said Metro Manila might have no future if Filipinos would fail to act now.
“We should look at the old cities like Rome, Tokyo, London and New York that have adapted to change, which means that with proper planning, Metro Manila can become a vibrant, livable and sustainable community just like its counterparts abroad,” Poe said.
Duterte warned that Metro Manila would not be able to meet the demands of its residents as it would soon reach saturation point.
He also said Manila, a metropolis of 1.8-million residents, was no longer an attractive destination for investment.
“You have to disperse the crowd, limit the factories sometime in the future,” Duterte said. “Ten years from now, close Manila and start to develop other places. Manila is no longer an option for industries.”
Duterte pitched for the development of other places outside Manila, such as the Clark Freeport.
His administration is embarking on an P8-trillion infrastructure program to improve mobility in the Philippine capital and build more road networks and other infrastructure around the country.