APEC leaders urged to make transport system PWD-friendly

THE transport sector must work together in promoting improved and inclusive growth in the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member-economies.

In his opening message during the 9th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meetings at the Shangrila Hotel in Mactan, Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya said APEC leaders must developed transportation systems that are responsive to the needs of vulnerable sectors, such as women, children, persons with disabilities (PWDs) and the elderly.

Abaya said that by addressing these needs, mobility is improved.

“Improving mobility translates to increase of activity, which accelerates economic progress. While inclusive mobility would mean that everyone’s needs are incorporated in the transport plans, programs and activities of various economies throughout the region,” Abaya said.

Innovations

During the meetings, Abaya said that various speakers and committees will highlight different innovations in the transport sector, including the enhancement of transportation safety and security, investments on resilient infrastructure and the promotion of clean technology.

Other innovations, such as “disruptive technologies and intelligent transportation systems,” would also be tackled in the three-day meetings.

There should be innovation in transportation systems “in order to address the evolving challenges encountered in the transport sector and to further improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our operation,” Abaya said.

Alan Bollard, APEC Secretariat executive director, urged the 21-member economies to share their transport development strategies with others.

Bollard urged APEC leaders to develop transport programs that can be shared beyond borders.

“What I’d like to emphasize, though, is again something that came out from the business dialogue this morning, which is that transport doesn’t stand alone. It stands together with many other complex parts of the cross border process,” he said.

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