October 09, 2015 – News Releases
|09 October 2015|
APEC News Releases
|For the country’s worsening traffic: Transportation chief sees solution in build-operate-transfer scheme|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) The Philippine government now has an answer to the worsening traffic congestion in the country: the build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya revealed this on Thursday in the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transportation Ministerial Meeting being held here.
According to Secretary Abaya, the lack of investment in infrastructure and the development of roads in the past years have contributed to the worsening traffic condition not only in the capital city but also in other major cities including Cebu and Davao.
The transportation chief noted that infrastructure was not a priority during the past decades.
“Compared to other countries and cities, Manila has no investment for infrastructure,” he said in an interview with reporters covering the APEC meeting. “It was simply not a priority.”
However Abaya maintained that the present government will prioritize the mass transit system and will continue to be committed to work with APEC member-economies in ensuring the mobility of people, goods and products.
In Metro Manila, Abaya said the government is looking at the extension of the light railway transit (LRT) system that traverese the length of traffic-infested EDSA.
“If this will work, then it will be an efficient, orderly and competitive vehicle mode of transportation,” he said.
The Transportation Secretary noted that Cebu will be the first in the Visayas region to have a mass transit system in 2017 with the French government assisting in its funding.
Davao’s mass transit, on the other hand, will be funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“We should invest and develop our mass transport system”, he said.
In terms of those who will be affected by the BOT, Abaya said the government has been talking to the bus and jeepney drivers about this, and encouraging them to either train as drivers of the mass transit or look for alternative route for their jeepneys.
For example in Cebu, Abaya said major roads will give priority to the mass transit system and re-route those who will be affected.
He noted that the APEC transportation ministerial meeting will help member economies learn from each other’s experiences.
Citing the example of Uber and Grab taxis, Abaya said it is only in the Philippines that they have a legal framework to justify its formation.
“The same legal framework is not even present in other countries like the USA. And they are looking at us for that experience,” he said. (APEC Communications Group)
|Philippines pushes for inclusive mobility framework at APEC transportation meeting|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) The Philippines is pushing for an inclusive mobility framework that will encourage Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies to give priority to biking and walking as the primary modes of transportation.
According to Transportation Assistant Secretary Atty. Sherielysse R. Bonifacio, the proposal will be presented during the APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting being held here.
If passed, relevant consultations will be made with stakeholders and then implemented in APEC member economies.
Inclusive mobility in the Philippine setting includes a pedestrian lane which will be safe and accessible to less privileged individuals, people with disabilities (PWDs), women, senior citizens, children with special requirements, among others.
At the same time, Bonifacio said the proposal aims to encourage non-motorized transport alternatives for pedestrians, like biking-friendly roads to traverse as they head to their places of work or going home.
“Instead of taking the taxi to go to work, you can just use the bike or walk,” she said.
Bonifacio said they are looking to initiate this project at the MRT Ortigas station to connect the malls to the central business district.
The inclusive mobility framework will be loosely based on those initiated in several European countries and the United States where a lot of people are already into cycling.
Bonifactio said the Philippine experience will give a better perspective on the Asian situation in terms of road and transportation mobility. (APEC Communications Group)
|APEC Secretariat Executive Director wants transportation to be linked to other sectors|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Executive Director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat, Alan Bollard, said he hopes the two-day meeting on transportation would be able to align the sector with other sectors for the benefit of the entire Asia-Pacific region.
“The Secretariat aims to keep this complex connection of transport and many other parts of APEC together, and to ensure that the direction we get top down, from leaders and from ministers, is getting a resonance with the bottom up, from working groups,” Bollard said in his opening remarks during the 9th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting held at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort here Friday.
Bollard said that during the business dialogue, transportation has been recognized not as a stand-alone sector, but one that stands together with many other complex parts of the cross-border process within the region.
“And we try and ensure that there are cross-cutting themes that are delivered right across the border, and that the other relevant working groups are also understanding what is going on through transport,” he said.
Citing an example, he said transportation is linked to other working groups, such as customs, electronic commerce, the Internet economy and data cluster.
“They are all one and very close to the transport work which continues. And we have been doing a lot of work on infrastructure and people mobility,” he said.
The APEC, he said, is trying to identify and reduce bottlenecks around the supply chain management, work on harmonization, integration, interoperability, and iron out things to make these systems work together for the 21-member APEC.
As the ministers hammer out a ministerial statement that will be announced on Friday afternoon, Bollard said that what is important is that APEC ministers pick up the transport themes that are of general importance that can lead to economic advancement in the APEC region.
He also said he expects that much of the other topics will be tackled in the meetings in Peru, which will host the APEC next year.
“Next year, Peru will be hosting and we look forward to hearing whether there is any indication about how those things may be brought forward. And I am sure capacity building will be an important part of that,” he said. PND (as)
|Philippines leads efforts to make transportation in Asia Pacific inclusive, resilient and sustainable|
|(Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu) The Philippines has proposed that fellow Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies explore ways to share valuable resource, data or information, and help in efforts to design policy and infrastructure in ways that make it more inclusive, resilient and sustainable for consumers—be they passengers or shippers of freight and cargo.
Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Abaya aired the proposal in his opening remarks at the APEC Ministers-CEO Dialogue here Friday.
Secretary Abaya noted that such an arrangement would provide all the parties involved “some real benefits” in the form of concrete data for policy formulation and adjustments to the regulatory framework.
This can subsequently lead to a policy environment that makes the transport sector more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient across all goals, he pointed out.
“We share the same vision: physical mobility of people and goods within our economies and across the region in the best possible way,” said Abaya. “At the end of the day, we need to create and promote transport systems that reach out to as broad a cross section of our respective societies to generate inclusive growth.”
This was the same point that Abaya emphasized at the opening of the 9th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting (TMM9) here on Friday.
He said the Philippines, as host of the meeting, took note of the emphasis given to ensure that transportation services and facilities are accessible and convenient to the public, while remaining reliable and resilient in the face of disasters and environmental and resource constraints.
It is in light of this that the theme “Driving Economic Growth: Inclusive Mobility and Sustainable Transport Systems” was chosen for TMM9, he said, adding that this is also consistent with the APEC 2015 overall theme of “Building Inclusive Economies, Building A Better World”.
According to the transportation chief, advancing inclusive mobility means addressing everybody’s transportation requirements, especially those in the vulnerable sectors of society — persons with disability, women, children, and the elderly.
“Improving mobility translates to increased productivity which helps accelerate economic progress,” Abaya further noted. “Inclusive mobility would mean that everyone’s needs are incorporated in the transport plans, programs, activities, projects of all economies throughout the region.”
During the various dialogues scheduled to be held in this city this week, Abaya said delegates of APEC member economies will tackle ways to ensure that transportation systems are responsive to these needs.
He said in addition to advancing inclusive mobility, the APEC transport officials would also discuss the need to develop sustainable transportation systems that would support the continuous flow of passengers and goods.
“To accomplish this, we have chosen to highlight the enhancement of transportation safety and security, investment in resilient infrastructure, and the promotion of green technology,” said Abaya.
Also during the meeting, the benefits of encouraging innovation in the transportation systems will be explored, particularly instructive technologies in data applications and intelligent transportation systems, he said.
“We realize the benefits of encouraging innovation in our transportation systems in order to address the evolving challenges encountered in the transport sector and to further improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations,” said Secretary Abaya. (APEC Communications Group)
|Preparations for APEC summit on track, says Palace official|
|Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte on Friday said preparations for the country’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is on track.
“The preparations are going well. In fact, part of our challenge is that to most people who are familiar with APEC, we know that the hosting of an APEC is a year-long engagement. Although marami sa atin ang inaakala na parang isang linggong summit lang ito, but that is the conclusion,” Undersecretary Valte said during a press briefing in Malacañang.
Some APEC events are held in the provinces, including the ongoing transportation ministerial meeting chaired by Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Abaya in Cebu.
“As we speak, we are currently hosting the transportation ministerial (meeting) in Cebu, chaired by Secretary Jun Abaya. Ito po ang nagiging challenge sa atin na merong ongoing pero forward-looking po tayo at nagpe-prepare pa po doon sa iba. Puspusan na ang training ng ating mga kapulisan para naman po doon sa mga security measures na i-implement natin and very soon, we will be sharing with you the information on re-routing, on the no-fly zones, et cetera, that we will be implementing,” said Valte.
She said the APEC 2015 National Organizing Committee has a Joint Security Task Committee that handles the security, as well as peace and order, during the APEC.
The committee is composed of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of National Defense, and the Department of Interior and Local Government.
“Binubuo po ito ng mga opisinang may kinalaman po sa seguridad at sila po ang nagbubuo at mag-i-implement ng ating mga plano, lalo na sa trapik. Ang alam ko, PNP po ang on the ground doon sa traffic preparations,” she said.
The Palace official likewise appealed for cooperation from the public to ensure a well-organized APEC hosting.
“Ngayon pa lang po humihingi na kami ng kooperasyon ng publiko dahil dalawampu — kasama ho ang Pangulong Aquino — dalawapu’t isa na mga lider ng mga miyembrong ekonomiya ng APEC ang darating. Ibig sabihin po, marami tayong mga hakbang na pang-seguridad na kailangan talagang mailapat para maging maganda ang hosting natin dito sa summit na ito,” she said.
Valte noted that the arrival of 20 world leaders in Manila next month is expected to make it difficult for people to move around because of detours.
“We suggest that you take advantage of this opportunity to spend time with your family and to perhaps, go outside of Metro Manila, kasi medyo intense po ang ating preparasyon,” she said.
“Meron pong mga road closures, meron pong mga no-fly times, so expect more of the same po. Hindi naman road closures, but expect that it will be a little hard to move around especially when the leaders arrive in Manila,” she explained.
The APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, an annual regional forum attended by 21 world leaders, is slated for November 18 to 19 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. PND (jm)
|APEC meeting pushes for favorable work environment for women in seafaring industry|
|(CEBU CITY, Cebu) Chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Doris Magsaysay-Ho, has urged the grouping’s member economies to create a favorable work environment for women in the transportation sector, particularly for the seafaring industry.
During a meeting on the sidelines of the 9th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting (TMM) here, Ho said the physical environment and regulations in seafaring are not yet conducive for women to pursue a career in this sector.
“Firstly, the shipping sector has traditionally been considered as a man’s world and I guess it follows other areas of transportation,” she said.
“The physical environment in a merchant ship is not yet friendly to support women to succeed,” she added.
In terms of promotions, the ABAC Chair pointed out that the long promotion cycle is not favorable to women as it takes about 10 years before a cadet assumes the highest position as captain or chief engineer in a seafaring profession.
Ho cited if a woman starts her career as a cadet at age 20, she could get the highest position in the industry only when she turns 30 years old, which is also the age when women get married and start a family, or care for an elderly parent.
She also noted that since most jobs in seafaring are contract-based, workers fear that they would lose their job after a contract.
Thus, Ho said, the ABAC proposed to the APEC the “Earn, Learn and Return” or the ELR concept in which overseas jobs like seafaring should have a continuous work contract, allowing the worker to return home yearly without the fear that they cannot go back to their jobs.
The ELR concept also pushes employers, not workers, to pay for placement fees while recruitment agencies, colleges and training institutions will play as regulators.
“Companies must take the reality into consideration when developing a workforce policy,” she stressed.
Ho, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Magsaysay Group of Companies, which is involved in shipping, logistics, human resources, marine travel and tourism, said that there are vast opportunities for women in the seafaring industry and other areas of the transportation sector.
She said that although the 1.4 million seafarers worldwide is equal to the world’s fleet requirement in 2010, there was an overall shortage of 13,000 officers and this is expected to increase.
“With this, more and more women will have the opportunity to enter the shipping workforce, especially since only 2 percent (of seafarers today) are women,” Ho added.
“The transport sector should take cognizance of protecting women’s rights and ensuring that opportunities are extended equally, regardless of gender,” she said. PNA (kc)
|U.S. transportation company cites Philippines as model for making public-private partnerships work|
|(MACTAN, Cebu) An American transportation network company considers the Philippines as “the best example” of a country that has embraced a business model and works with it to establish a framework and guidelines that allow the company to operate effectively and safely.
In an interview with reporters on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transportation Ministerial Meeting here this week, Uber Technologies Business Asia President Eric Alexander said the Philippine experience is a very interesting one for the company since the government is very much open to dialogue on how public-private partnership works.
Uber is a San Francisco-based international transportation network company that develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app. The app allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request, which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars.
Currently, the service is available in an estimated 58 countries and 300 cities worldwide, including the Philippines. By mid-2015, Uber was estimated to be worth US$50 billion.
According to Alexander, Uber will soon be meeting with ministers of Hongkong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to discuss possible partnerships in transporting people and goods to their destinations.
Earlier, Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said the government is crafting a legal framework that Uber can work on as a private transit system to ease the traffic situation in the Philippines.
He said the legal framework that is being drafted would help Uber justify its formation in the country.
“The same legal framework is not even present in other countries like the USA. And they are looking at us (the Philippines) for that experience,” Abaya explained. (APEC Communications Group)
|Transport Chief to APEC: Improving transport systems translate to economic growth|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) should move forward in developing and improving the region’s transportation systems to further spur economic growth, Department of Transportation anid Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Abaya said on Friday.
“Improving mobility translates to increased productivity, which helps accelerate economic progress,” said Secretary Abaya, who also chairs the 9th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting (TMM) here.
He noted that improving the transportation systems in the Asia Pacific should advance inclusive mobility, which means addressing all transportation requirements, especially for those with unique needs — persons with disability, women, children, and the elderly.
“Inclusive mobility would mean that everyone’s need is incorporated in the transport plans, programs, activities, and projects of their economies and of the region,” he said.
He added that this year’s TMM will be discussing how APEC member economies could make sure that transportation systems are responsive to those with special needs.
The DOTC chief noted that the Philippines, as host of the 9th TMM, will focus on measures to ensure that transportation services and facilities are accessible and convenient to the public and will remain reliable and resilient in the face of disasters, as well as environmental and resource constraints.
The theme for this year’s TMM is “Driving Economic Growth through Inclusive Mobility and Sustainable Transport Systems”, which is in line with the overall APEC 2015 theme of “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World”.
“To accomplish (the objectives), we have chosen to highlight the enhancement of transportation safety and security, investment in resilient infrastructure, and the promotion of green technology,” Abaya said.
“We realize the benefits of encouraging innovation in our transportation systems in order to address the evolving challenges encountered by the transport sector and to further improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations,” he added.
Abaya also noted that the APEC should explore innovations, such as disruptive technology, big data applications, and intelligent transportation systems that will further advance the region’s transportation sector.
In addition to inclusive mobility, the discussion aims to focus on developing sustainable transportation systems that will support the continuous flow of passengers and goods.
The APEC Business Advisory Council, the voice of businesses in the region, will also present its recommendations to the ministers regarding the transportation sector. PNA (kc)