The Export Development Council’s Networking Committee on Transport and Logistics has identified programs that can help improve the efficiency of our country’s infrastructure services. The major program is the National Logistics Master Plan spearheaded by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) to advance Philippine competitiveness through an efficient logistics sector.
The master plan was developed to serve as a guide for the national government in developing a seamless intermodal logistics corridor. It will assist the government in identifying the key transport and logistics bottlenecks, both on soft and hard infrastructure.
It will also provide direction in future infrastructure developments and policy issuances the government will make and will serve as catalyst for better project coordination and implementation among the line-agencies, particularly for the projects identified under the plan.
A major logistics concern is the traffic congestion near Manila ports. Hence, the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS) is implemented by port operators in Manila to help ease port traffic. TABS regulates the number of trucks plying Metro Manila, going to and from the ports, avoiding the recurrence of port congestion and addressing corruption and extortion of some brokers/fixers. TABS is a collaborative solution of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and supply-chain stakeholders, in partnership with Australia’s One-Stop Connections Pty. Ltd., in response to the truck ban and road policies introduced by the local government in 2014 to combat the congestion in Manila. Trucks registered under TABS are exempted from the MMDA truck ban at limited hours.
To further reduce logistics costs in the domestic shipping, the efficiency of the roll-on, roll-off (Roro) network will be enhanced by the recent approval of Executive Order 204, expanding the Roro network policies to chassis Roro (Charo). With Charo, the cost of cargo handling will be lesser by 15 percent to 20 percent. It will allow truckers to be more productive since their trucks will not go with the container in the Roro vessels anymore. Further, export and import cargoes from and to local ports can now be coloaded by foreign ships under the newly approved Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act, or Republic Act 10668, and its implementing rules and regulations. This will eliminate costs for the transfer of these foreign cargoes from international vessels in international ports to domestic interisland vessels in local ports.
For air transport, the Dual Airport Policy, such as Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) and Clark Airport, will be pushed to the next administration.
Also, the lighting of secondary airports will spread flights to late night or predawn hours to decongest air traffic in three terminals of Naia. The creation of the proposed National Transportation Safety Board will be endorsed to the 17th Congress. The proposed board is tasked to conduct special studies concerning transportation safety and recommending improvements in transportation safety.
Last, air transport and logistics need the strengthening of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines as the airport and aviation regulatory authority, separating its operational functions from development functions.□