MOST CONGESTED CITY IN ASIA. The MMDA says congestion in Metro Manila is the result of many factors--including overpopulation and lack of an organized road network on Sept. 26. A day before, the ADB revealed a study, which tagged Metro Manila as the most congested city in Asia. (Graph courtesy of ADB)

MANILA – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Thursday said the recent study by the Asia Development Bank (ADB), which tagged Metro Manila as the most congested city in Asia, is based on facts.

However, MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago said the congestion in Metro Manila is the result of many factors, some of which are beyond the scope of the MMDA.

“By fact, figures won’t lie that with the presence of 410,000 vehicles traversing Edsa (per day), 17 malls, 47 bus terminals, 150 perpendicular roads, number of schools and universities in primary roads, lack of road network and the day time population which is more than 10 million, we are totally congested,” Pialago said in a press statement.

She said the MMDA attempts to control vehicular traffic on the streets, but congestion was merely a result of overcrowding in the capital, among many other factors.

“The congestion of Metro Manila is a result of so many factors, such as the influx of people from the provinces looking for higher wages,” Pialago said.

She added that there is “so much more needs to be done” aside from the current responsibilities of the traffic authority for traffic congestion in Metro Manila to be solved.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Adbul Abiad, ADB director for Macroeconomics, Economic Research, and Regional Cooperation, said Metro Manila is “the most congested city in developing Asia.”

Based on figures from the ADB’s Asian Development Outlook 2019 Update released in September, Metro Manila was found to be the most congested natural city in Asia with a population greater than five million.

After Metro Manila, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia was ranked the second most congested city, followed by Yangon City in Myanmar, Dhaka City in Bangladesh, and Bengaluru (also called Bangalore) in India.

Abiad said other findings by their study revealed that for a substantial portion of random trips within the metro, public transportation is not possible—making private transportation necessary for some.

The ADB official added that when the travel time of public transport and private transport is compared, public transport typically took three times as long. (PNA)