Agencies told to accelerate strategies to meet targets-A A +A
Sunday, January 27, 2013
THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said Sunday that concerned government agencies should further accelerate their strategies to achieve targets in the transportation sector by 2016.
Citing the newly released Socioeconomic Report (SER): 2010-2012 of Neda, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan cited that while the quality of the national roads and bridges significantly improved since 2010, "the actual output indicators as reported in the SER are actually slightly below the targets for 2011."
"Implementing agencies need to double their efforts,” Balisacan said.
According to the SER, while the percentage of paved road length increased to 78.87 percent (out of the total 31,242 kilometers) in 2011, this was still slightly below the year’s target of 79.0 percent.
Also, the percentage of length of permanent bridges along national arterial roads went up to 94.63 percent (out of 330,089 lineal meters), which is slightly below the 95.0-percent target in 2011.
Balisacan stressed the need to accelerate the approval and adoption of the National Transport Policy (NTP), which will ensure coordination among transport agencies.
“The NTP needs to be implemented to bring about a more integrated transport network and centralized collection, monitoring and evaluation of needed information and statistics to track the development of the subsector,” said Balisacan, who is also Neda Director-General
The NTP is a comprehensive long-term policy framework that will guide the accomplishment of transport objectives and goals, such as the restructuring of the subsector. The policies espoused under the NTP will ensure that government decisions are predictable and consistent, thereby promoting accountability as well.
A draft Executive Order on “Adopting a Policy Framework that Sets the Direction of and Parameters for the Development and Regulation of the Transportation System in the Philippines” is currently being reviewed.
For the water, air, and rail transport subsectors, individual agencies’ performance against target have mixed results in terms of attainment of objectives, according to the SER.
The report showed that the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) constructed and rehabilitated Passenger Terminal Buildings (PTBs) in selected ports nationwide that gained an additional seating capacity of 1,166 seats in 2011. This was 126.05 percent over the year’s target.
“However, partly due to economic downturn and competing transport modes like air transport, the expected passenger volume in PPA ports for 2011 did not materialize, leading to the subsector’s recorded negative performance,” said Balisacan.
Meanwhile, the air transport subsector had a good performance in 2011 due to the expansion of both airport facilities and air services, and the introduction of low cost fares by airlines and cheaper tourist destinations.
“Except for Clark International Airport (CIA), all major gateways exceeded their 2011 targets in terms of increasing the annual international and domestic passenger,” he said.
According to the SER, airports under the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) collectively increased passenger volume by 129.55 percent; Mactan-Cebu International Airport by 295.75 percent; and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) by 207.93 percent despite the current congestion in its runway. On the other hand, CIA posted a performance rate of only 26.25 percent in 2011.
In the rail transport subsector, the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2 in Metro Manila were not able to meet the 2011 target for the actual increase in the consolidated passenger volume.
With these, Balisacan said the government will undertake several planned activities to improve the state of the country’s transportation sector. “Prospects for the roads and bridges subsector will also involve public-private partnership programs to augment regular budget allocation,” he said.
Several capacity expansion programs are planned for existing transport infrastructure facilities across all modes. For instance, the Capacity Expansion program for the Metro Rail Transit 3 will be pursued to help alleviate traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
Also, the completion of the Roll-On/Roll-Off (RORO) Spine Project will provide quality and adequate multimodal transport services through a combination of quality highway systems and modern, fast and safe RORO ferry services with matching port/terminal facilities.
For the air transport subsector, continuous decongestion efforts in NAIA will include airline time slotting in coordination with CAAP, Civil Aeronautics Board, and local carriers, among others, to lessen runway occupancy time.
“The continuous implementation of the open skies policy will boost tourism and commercial activities especially in regions where international gateways are located,” said Balisacan.
The SER is an assessment of the first two years of the Aquino administration in relation to the targets and strategies set in the PDP 2011-2016. (SDR/Sunnex)