- President urged shift of businesses and industries from Manila to other areas
- He predicted Manila will die off from over-congestion in 25 years
- He also said decentralization is a better option than rehabilitating the capital
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte again renewed the call for decentralization as he urged development in Manila’s neighboring areas in a bid to decongest the country’s densely-populated capital.
“You have to disperse the crowd, limit the factories at some time in the future but 10 years from now, they should close Manila and start to develop this, this is the best. Something similar to Clark in other places – Batangas, Cavite,” ABS-CBN quoted him as saying during a speech at Kapampangan Food Festival in Clark.
According to Duterte, Manila will become a dead city in 25 years with the way businesses and industries still continue to crop up in the capital.
“Manila, I think will be, in about 25 years, will be a dead city. It will start to decay and there is no way that we can rehab the place,” he said.
The president added it is better to decentralize at this point since Manila is now impossible to rehabilitate without destroying the city.
“You cannot rehabilitate the place, you have to, baklasin mo ang Maynila [break Manila apart] to do that,” Duterte said.
As for Clark, the president noted that it is set to be the next urban hub in Luzon owing to its strategic location.
“Clark is a very important arterial place kasi ito ‘yung papalabas talaga ng [this is where you exit from] Luzon upwards…and the development because it is very important that we disperse the industries,” he said.
Spurred by higher wages, many Filipinos in the province end up working and living in Manila.
However, residents of the city are perennially plagued by poor infrastructure and worsening traffic conditions.