Palace trumpets continuous drop in NCR crime rate

MANILA -- Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella announced that the crime rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) continues to drop, owing to the administration’s campaign against drugs and criminality.

He said as of October this year, robbery/holdup incidents dropped by 39.5 percent; theft decreased by 35.6 percent; carnapping went down by 67 percent; motornapping down by 63 percent; and rape cases dropped by 27 percent.

“The streets and neighborhoods in Metro Manila are now safer and more secure - thanks to the government’s campaign against drugs and criminality,” Abella said in a press briefing.

The Palace hopes that the marked improvement in Metro Manila’s crime rate is likewise felt and appreciated in the entire country.

Meanwhile, Malacañang extended its deepest condolences to the families of more than 50 victims who died in the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“We likewise pray for the speedy recovery of the more than 500 people who were reported injured,” he said.

Although no Filipino casualty has been reported, Abella said the Foreign Affairs department has instructed Consul-General Adelio Angelito Cruz to immediately look into the condition of Filipinos who may need assistance.

“We join the peace-loving people of the international community in denouncing this latest act of violence,” he said.

The Palace official also announced during the briefing that the government is moving closer to its goal of easing traffic congestion in Metro Manila and surrounding areas with the completion of an updated transport infrastructure roadmap by November.

He said the roadmap, which is being finalized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), will identify urban transport strategies, address traffic demand in the coming years, and help spread economic opportunities in areas outside Metro Manila.

Abella also cited Japanese financial giant Nomura, which has taken notice of the administration's plan to roll out big-ticket infrastructure projects in the country.

These are the development of the Clark International Airport as the second major airport by 2020; the 9,500-hectare Clark Green City; a 655-kilometer spine expressway across Luzon; and the Manila-Clark railway.

“All this would improve connectivity for the tourism, agriculture and industrial sectors under the “Build, Build, Build” program,” he said.

Abella also expressed gratitude to the Japanese government for helping the Philippines in its economic development efforts. (PND)