Implementation of dual airport strategy given focus
A new logistics master plan of the country focusing on improving road, airport, and seaport infrastructure as well as creating and amending existing transport policies, was unveiled Thursday by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) together with the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Presenting the draft of the National Logistics Master Plan (NLMP), Enrico L. Basilio, the chief of party of the USAID COMPLETE Project, enumerated the pressing concerns, challenges, and recommended actions in the country’s land transport and road infrastructure; aviation and airport infrastructure; maritime transport and port infrastructure.
Citing the master plan, Basilio said the government is pushing for the development of new “logistics corridors” and “economic magnets” outside Manila to decongest traffic in the metropolis.
According to a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, truck trips in Metro Manila are estimated to expand to 872,329 per day by 2020 and 1 million per day by 2030 from the 642,714 daily trips as of 2010.
Basilio also pointed out the lack of paved roads, mostly at the local level, noting that only about 35 percent of the roads in provinces and municipalities are cemented, compared with the cities in provinces that have 61.7 percent of their roads paved.
National roads are 88.6 percent paved. The master plan targets this to be 100 percent paved by end-2016.
Basilio said the “big challenge” is improving the paved roads ratio at the local level, which accounts for 84.5 percent of the total road network of the country.
The USAID official said the country’s public-private partnership (PPP) scheme is helpful in improving land transportation infrastructure, saying that the ongoing, proposed, and pipeline of PPP projects totals 524 kilometers of additional roads.
Dual airport strategy
In terms of the airports, Basilio, as well as the forum panelists including representatives of the DTI, Department of Transport and Communications (DOTC), National Competitiveness Council (NCC), Export Development Council (EDC), and the private sector, all pressed the implementation of a “dual airport strategy” that will encourage the use of both Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Clark International Airport as the main gateways to Manila.
DOTC Assistant Secretary Sherielysse R. Bonifacio that the department had “shortcomings” in passing the dual airport strategy as a formal policy until now.
In addition, she said the planned National Transport Plan that will address the country’s concerns in the transport sector has been put aside to be included in the next Philippine Development Plan (PDP).
“We actually submitted a draft to the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) of the National Transport Plan be we are advised that it would be more appropriate to include it in the next PDP plan,” Bonifacio said. The country’s macroeconomy is currently operating under the 2011-2016 PDP.
The NLMP also recommended the amendment of the Public Sevice Act, CAAP Law, PPA Charter, as well as the creation of a National Transport Policy, and the implementing rules and regulations of chassis-RORO policy.
Trade Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba and NCC co-chair Guillermo Luz said that there should be a “high level inter-agency task force” that will monitor the implementation of the NLMP.
“We still don’t know if it is a task force or a council like EDC, but it should include both the private and public sector,” Aldaba said.
She said that the NLMP is still subject to more dialogues and discussions. The master plan is expected to be finalized and launched in September this year.