Businessmen reiterate call to decongest Metro Manila

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Sunday, July 20, 2014


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PamCham) reiterated over the weekend its call for the decongestion and decentralization of the National Capitol Region (NCR) after it experienced massive power blackouts last week due to Typhoon Glenda (Rammasun).

"With what happened during the onslaught of Typhoon Glenda, we felt that we have to reiterate our call for the decongestion and decentralization of Metro Manila or the National Capitol Region. Now we see that threats of storm surges and 7.2 magnitude earthquakes are real. The eggs, so to speak, are still in one basket and that is something that has to be addressed immediately," said PamCham president Jim Jimenez.

He told Sun.Star Pampanga that almost 70 percent of loan portfolios of big banks are concentrated in Metro Manila.

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"If the National Capitol Region is paralyzed, who is going to pay for those loans? Besides, as Senator Alan Peter Cayetano told us during the North Luzon Area Business Conference in Baguio City last week, only about P24 billion of the P187 billion allocated for national infrastructure goes to the countryside. We mean, investments in Metro Manila just keep on attracting unwanted migration and disasters in reality like saying come here, add more to the informal settlers and other problems like garbage. Imagine the chaos if law enforcement and major systems break down," added Jimenez.

He said politicians could push for two parallel government and investment centers.

"We are not asking them to invest here in Pampanga or Central Luzon. All we are urging them is spread those investments in other areas around the NCR. By doing so, we are minimizing risks and could readily respond to threats from disasters and calamities like what Typhoon Glenda brought," Jimenez said.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 21, 2014.

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