Duterte says Manila "a dead city" in 25 years
President Rodrigo Duterte underscored on Thursday the importance of dispersing industries to the provinces as Manila would be "a dead city" in 25 years.
In a speech in Pampanga where he attended a food festival, Duterte said it might no longer be possible to rehabilitate Metro Manila.
"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.
"You have to disperse the crowd, limit the factories at some time in the future...so Manila is no longer an option for industries. We have to go to the provinces," he said.
He cited Pampanga, particularly Clark, Batangas and Cavite as viable options where to put up industries.
This could be done, not during his presidency, but about 10 years from now, Duterte said.
"(B)ut not really mine for that would be too early. But about 10 years from now, they should close Manila and start to develop (other places)," he said.
Duterte admitted that he was pissed off with the commission handling the rehabilitation of Pasig River.
He wondered how they would restore Pasig River "to its pristine place and let aquatic life flourish there" if in the first place there was no proper sewerage system.
"What the hell are you planning to do in Pasig? First of all, you do not have the sewer and sewerage. We are one of the few countries using septic tank there. Pardon for those who are eating. I said, 'you cannot rehabilitate the place. You have to --- break Manila to do that and there’s no more time and space for all of you who want to do something about it," he said.
Duterte also cited the importance of having a mass transport system and expansion of highways in Metro Manila to address traffic.
"But I think the most practical thing to do is really the mass transport system. And many are willing. It’s only a matter of the grid," he said.
Duterte noted that this was why the Department of Transportation has been pushing for an emergency power for him to address traffic.
But he said he intentionally did not make any comment regarding the proposal to Congress that he be granted emergency power.
"I do not mean to offend anybody, especially the Senate. Nothing of the sort. But for me, (DOTr Arthur) Tugade had a hard time and almost all in unison...believe that there has to be some drastic changes to be introduced and it has to be all something like in a hurry. So, the emergency powers. But if you remember, I never asked for it because I was once a member of Congress," Duterte said.
He said he was not talking about emergency power, and yet there were those accusing him of corruption.
"And if you would recall, I never, never responded to any of those statements for or against. I just allowed it because that is the Filipino style," he said.
He noted that instead of waiting for the emergency power, he went to other countries, such as Japan and China, and sought for assistance for the government's infrastructure projects. Celerina Monte/DMS