|Traffic gridlock along EDSA (Photo from Inquirer.net)|
In 2017, traffic congestion in Metro Manila (NCR) cost a staggering Php 3.5 billion (roughly US$ 70 million) a day in lost economic opportunities. This is up from an estimated Php 2.4 billion (US$ 21 million) a day in 2012. In 2017, traffic congestion losses amounted to Php 1.28 trillion (US$ 25 billion). This is 8.09% of the entire country's GDP of Php 15.80 trillion (US$ 313 billion).
It also amounts to 21.21% of the NCR's estimated Php 6.02 trillion GDP (US$ 120 billion) in 2017.
Despite this, the country was able to grow its economy by 6.67% in 2017, landing it among the top ten fastest growing economies in the world. Had the traffic congestion problem been solved, it would have grown at more than double that rate: 15.29%. In other words, traffic congestion in Manila robbed the country of an additional 8.63% growth rate on top of the 6.67% growth rate it posted in 2017.
These economic losses amount to Php 6,681 or US$ 133 for every man, woman, and child in the country in 2017. This is no small amount in a country wherein the estimated median wealth per adult was estimated at just $883 in 2017.