Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has warned that the country's capital Manila would turn into a "dead city" in the next 25 years because of the worsening traffic situation.
Speaking about developing and urbanising the outskirts of Metro Manila, he said the capital would not be able to meet the demands of the residents in the coming days as it would soon reach a saturation point.
"It is very important that we disperse the industries because Manila, in about 25 years, will be a dead city. It will start to decay and there is no way we can rehabilitate the place," said the firebrand leader, who has been pushing for moving key industries to the countryside.
While addressing the terrible traffic situation in Metro Manila, a city of roughly 620sq.km hosting 1.8 million residents, Duterte admitted the Filipino capital is no longer an attractive destination for investment.
"You have to disperse the crowd, limit the factories sometime in the future. Ten years from now, close Manila and start to develop other places. Manila is no longer an option for industries," added Duterte.
Previously, the president revealed he was planning a $180m-worth infrastructure project under the scheme "Build, Build, Build" during his six-year term in office. Under the scheme, there have been several ambitious projects intended to improve transportation in Manila and upgrade of other key facilities.
"We can expect some marked acceleration in government spending in the third and fourth quarter because many of the projects are already in the bidding stage," earlier said Ernesto Pernia, one of the key economic advisers of Duterte. "There will be more activity, building activity in the coming quarters... There's already double-digit (growth in) public construction. Next year, definitely, there will be a flurry of construction."