MANILA - Sen. Grace Poe on Friday called for the development of outlying provinces to decongest Metro Manila following President Rodrigo Duterte's warning that the Philippine capital will become a "dead city" in 25 years.
Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said the Philippines should look at how cities such as Rome, Tokyo, London, and New York have adapted to change.
"To achieve this, we should seriously consider and push for outward development to decongest Metro Manila for the medium to long term, but right now we have to jumpstart that initiative," she said in a statement.
She also renewed her call for the President to certify as urgent the pending emergency powers bill, which seeks to speed up the implementation of transportation projects in the country to address monstrous traffic in urban areas.
"For this, political will is needed and the emergency powers could come in handy if only the President would certify this as urgent," she said.
The measure remains pending in the Senate.
The senator pinned her hopes on government's ambitious "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure program, saying this could lead to a "marked improvement" in the metro.
Among projects under Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program are the Mega Manila Subway, which is partly funded by Japan, the Mindanao Railway Project, Malolos-Clark Railway Project, the LRT-1 North Extension Project, and the expansion of the Clark International Airport.