October 10, 2015 – News Releases
|10 October 2015|
APEC News Release
|APEC transportation ministers to endorse Phl’s initiative of inclusive mobility to leaders’ meeting|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies’ transportation ministers supported the initiative of the Philippines to promote inclusive mobility in the region.
In the joint statement adopted during the 9th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting (TMM) here, APEC economies pushes for the establishment of Inclusive Mobility Framework introduced by the Philippines.
The Joint Ministerial Statement will be endorsed to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November.
“Recognizing that improving mobility increases people’s productivity, and, results to the acceleration of economic growth, we endorse the initiative on creating an Inclusive Mobility Framework for the APEC region,” the Joint Ministerial Statement read.
“It is envisioned to pave way for development of projects, programs, activities and transport planning mechanisms to address the transport needs of all individuals, especially those of the most vulnerable members of the society, including persons with disabilities, older people, women, children and students, and such groups,” the APEC transportation ministers further noted.
Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Abaya, who also chaired the 9th TMM, mentioned that APEC member economies should ensure transportation services and facilities are accessible and convenient to the public, particularly to those with unique needs.
Earlier, DOTC Assistant Secretary Sherielysse Bonifacio said the Philippines will be a benefactor in pushing the inclusive mobility initiative.
“I think we will be mostly a benefactor, considering that it’s not, our transportation system is not yet inclusive in the sense that it caters to persons with disabilities. But you know, we’re trying hard to make it inclusive that’s why I think we would be benefiting more from this initiative,” Bonifacio noted.
“Our involvement in APEC broadens our perspective in how things are done, with regards to transport,” she added.
Meanwhile, the 9th TMM concluded here on Friday with discussions focusing in key areas such as advancing inclusive mobility, developing sustainable transport systems, encouraging innovation in transportation systems, and promoting connectivity. PNA (kc)
|Palace says government prioritizing expanding PhilHealth coverage|
|The Palace said it continues to work on improving the country’s healthcare system particularly by expanding the coverage of the universal health care program, a Palace official said.
According to the 2015 Quality of Death study index, the Philippines lacks government-led strategy for the development and promotion of national palliative care services.
But in a radio interview on Saturday, Deputy presidential Abigail Valte said that although the government has programs for palliative care, its major thrust is having universal healthcare, noting they want a wider coverage of PhilHealth.
“Kasi ito ang existing system natin for insurance or at least healthcare ng Pilipino. So in-improve natin ang services ng PhilHealth, at ngayon mas marami na nang sakit ang covered ng PhilHealth,” Valte old dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
The government reformed the PhilHealth system, she said, noting they removed the discretion on certain illnesses and standardized the range of diseases covered.
Aside from from removing the discretion, she said PhilHealth also increased the number of health issues under its coverage, Valte said.
“Mayroon na nga tayong Z-benefits package targeting ‘yung mga mas widespread na illnesses,” she explained. PhilHealth now also has 100 percent coverage for indigent Filipinos.
“One-hundred percent na po ang coverage ng mga indigents. Kabahagi naman po nito ang patuloy natin pag-i-improve doon sa ating mga public hospitals at sa mga rural health units natin so that they could give better care to those who go to these institutions for healthcare,” she said. PND (as)
|Palace asks public cooperation during APEC leaders’ meeting next month|
|The Palace asked the residents of Metro Manila to go on vacation and seize the long break of students to decongest the metropolis during the country’s hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit next month.
Malacanang has declared November 18 and 19, 2015 as non-working holidays in the National Capital Region due to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which is being hosted by the Philippines this year.
“Let us take advantage. Medyo matagal-tagal ‘yung bakasyon ng ating mga estudyante, ng ating mga anak, para naman maging maayos ang hosting natin ng pinakamalaking meeting, ang APEC (Leaders’) Summit,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview on Saturday.
“Apart from our very own president, may 20 other member economy leaders pa ang darating sa bansa,” she told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.
“At sinisigurado naman natin na magiging maayos at matiwasay ang kanilang pagbisita, ‘yun nga lang po humihingi kami ng inyong kooperasyon at pag-intindi, dahil marami tayong ilalatag na security measures.”
Metro Manila residents could take advantage of the long vacation to visit places outside the Metropolis.
The people could opt to visit the beautiful tourist spots outside of the national capital region or they can stay at home to avoid places where there are security preparations for the upcoming APEC summit, Valte said.
“Again, humihingi po kami ng inyong pang-unawa at ng inyong kooperasyon. Ilalabas na natin ang mga lugar na maaapektuhan po dahil doon sa pagho-host natin ng APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.”
APEC delegates and senior officials are in the final stages of their talks here in country, ironing up issues that will be presented to the APEC economic leaders this November. PND (as)
|Malacanang thanks lower house for approving the 2016 national budget|
|The palace expressed its gratitude to the members of the lower house for passing the P3-trillion 2016 national budget, telling those saying that the budget deliberation was rushed that there are more deliberations in the Senate.
“Hindi pa ho tapos ang pagtingin sa budget natin—mayroon pa ho ‘yan sa Senado. Nagpapasalamat tayo doon sa ating mga kasamahan sa Camara de Representantes, siyempre, led by Speaker Sonny Belmonte at doon po sa pagbabaston ‘nang mga deliberasyon sa budget,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview on Saturday.
Congress has been deliberating the budget for quite some time and there are a number of officials from the executive branch who participated in the congressional budget hearings, Valte told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.
“At talagang to those of us in the executive that’s also considered another thesis defense—to face our fellows in Congress to be able to defend your agency’s or your office’s budget,” she said adding they will exert similar effort when the Senate tackles the budget.
On the issue of railroading the budget as well as the alleged inclusion of lump sum funds, Valte said they can’t please everybody in having the budget approved, but she said there is a process being followed in Congress in passing the national budget that must be respected.
The House of Representatives on Friday night approved the proposed P3-trillion budget for 2016 on second and final reading with only a few changes. PND (as)
|APEC transport ministers call for enhanced aviation, maritime safety|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Transport ministers from APEC member economies agreed to enhance transport safety and security following a two-day transportation ministerial meeting here in Cebu.
In a joint statement after the 9th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting on Friday, the ministers affirmed their commitment to prioritize transportation safety and security for effective movement of people and goods throughout the region.
They said they instructed the transportation technical working group within APEC to collaborate with both the public and the private sectors from all modes of transportation as well as other fora like the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The goal is to address the gaps on transport safety and security and improve APEC members’ compliance and services in these aspects while also considering energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
“We stress that adhering to recognized international safety and security measures for all modes of transport standards is a priority,” they said in the joint statement released to the press at the Shangri-la Mactan Resort.
“These standards must be complementary and aligned to ensure safety and security objectives are pursued in the most efficient way, and without compromise on facilitation to movement of passengers and goods.”
To ensure aviation and maritime safety, they encouraged APEC member economies to make sure that they follow frameworks compliant to ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices in Annex 17 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.
They must also follow ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices Annexes 1, 6, and 8.
“We note the ICAO direction on the need for Civil Aviation Authorities to ensure fully qualified and trained inspectors with conditions of services and renumeration consistent with their education, technical knowledge and experience and comparable to those personnel of the entities they regulate,” they said.
With regards to shipping, Part A of the IMO International Ship and Port Facility Security Code must also be followed. PND (as)
|APEC transportation ministers push for inclusive, innovative, competitive and productive services among member economies|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Ministers responsible for transportation in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies have issued a Joint Statement which will be APEC’s transportation roadmap the next two years.
In the said joint statement issued following the two-day APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting held here, the APEC transportation ministers endorsed several initatives and policies with the goal of strengthening physical connectivity built through trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, as well as economic and technical cooperation, in accordance with domestic economic circumstances.
Foremost of which is a framework for women’s inclusion in the sector along five pillars: education, recruitment, retention, leadership, and safe use and access to transportation systems that was proposed by the APEC Women in Transportation (WiT) Task Force .
According to the ministers, the framework affirms the important role women play in APEC economies and encourages the use of data collection to track the effectiveness of actions taken to increase their inclusion.
The transportation ministers also endorsed the initiative espoused by the Philippines on creating an Inclusive Mobility Framework for the APEC region. This framework is envisioned to pave the way for the development of projects, programs, activities and transport planning mechanisms to address the transport needs of all individuals, especially those of the most vulnerable members of society, including persons with disabilities, older people, women, children and students, and other such groups.
They said they will instruct the APEC Transportation Working Group (TPTWG) to continue to collaborate with the public and private sectors from all modes of transportation, as well as other APEC fora and international organizations, like the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to address any gaps or needs in safety and security, and improve, through capacity building, member economies’ governance, compliance and services in these aspects, while also taking into consideration the energy efficiency and environmental sustainability of operations.
The APEC ministers likewise encouraged economies to ensure that their respective aviation and maritime security frameworks comply with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices in Annex 17 (Security) to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, and Part A of the IMO International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (Chapter XI-2, International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea), respectively.
They encourage economies to ensure that their respective aviation safety frameworks comply with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices. The ministers further noted the ICAO direction on the need for Civil Aviation Authorities to ensure fully qualified and trained inspectors with conditions of service and remuneration consistent with their education, technical knowledge and experience, and comparable to those personnel of the entities they regulate.
Economies are also encouraged to utilize the latest transportation security technology and give a high priority to providing comprehensive training to transportation security personnel.
In support of relevant international agreements, the ministers encourage economies to push forward with the implementation of relevant activities to raise awareness on road safety issues to reduce road deaths and serious injuries.
“We instruct the TPTWG to continue to share information on economies’ road safety strategies and targets, and maintain coordination with other relevant APEC sub-fora, the International Transport Forum, the Asian Development Bank and other organizations dealing with road and rail safety,” they said in their statement while stressing that adhering to recognized international safety and security measures for all modes of transport standards is a priority. “We also encourage economies to share their best practices and research on road safety policies and programs.”
“These standards must be complementary and aligned to ensure safety and security objectives are pursued in the most efficient way, and without compromise on facilitation to movement of passengers and goods,” the ministers added.
In support of relevant international agreements, they called on economies to promote the resilience of new and existing critical transportation infrastructure to ensure that they remain safe, effective and operational during and after disasters in order to provide life-saving and essential services.
Recognizing that improving mobility increases people’s productivity, and, results to the acceleration of economic growth, the ministers endorsed the initiative on creating an Inclusive Mobility Framework for the APEC region. The framework is envisioned to pave the way for the development of projects, programs, activities and transport planning mechanisms to address the transport needs of all individuals, especially those of the most vulnerable members of society, including persons with disabilities, older people, women, children and students, and other such groups.
In addition, the ministers expressed their commitment to continue to support the multi-year, United States-led Supply Chain Resilience program promoting the Seven Principles of Supply Chain Resilience. The program seek to improve the viability of businesses and the physical and social infrastructure of the supply chain for disaster situations.
In addition to this commitment, the transportation officials will focus special attention on one APEC member economy to help them develop a framework for enhancing the resilience of their supply chain.
They expressed commitment to support global efforts to address climate change considering that the transportation sector is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases.
The ministers encouraged all economies to participate in the Green Port Award System created by the APEC Port Services Network in line with its efforts to promote green growth in the APEC port industry. Tthe program serves as an important platform for best practices sharing, the promotion of efficiency and sustainability, and the improvement of the overall competitiveness of the APEC port industry.
They instructed the TPTWG to encourage economies’ participation in existing fora, including standards development organizations, and to provide additional venues, as needed, for dialogue and collaboration among economies on the uses of these technologies in the transportation sector, as well as on the mechanisms to be put in place to address any subsequent challenges.
In addition, the ministers encouraged economies to implement the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of transport infrastructure, especially recognizing the significant safety and environmental benefits which may be realized simultaneously.
They called on economies to cooperate with the relevant authorities or organizations to ensure data protection and system integration and integrity. Also, security measures need to be put in place and actively maintained to support the use of big data in ITS applications.
They recommended that economies explore how ITS can make transportation networks more accessible to persons with disabilities, older people, women, children and students, low-income populations, and other vulnerable groups.
Furthermore, they encourage economies to continue to promote and adopt the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Implementation Team technologies, especially those that will contribute to the improvement of supply chain connectivity as well as to the enhancement of capabilities for preparedness to natural disasters and emergency response.
In reiterating their commitment to implement the APEC Connectivity Blueprint (2015-2025), and achieve the overarching goal of strengthening physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity, the transporatation ministers instruct the TPTWG to continue to enhance its work on connectivity of transportation networks.
The APEC transportation ministers encouraged economies to address the choke points identified by the APEC Supply Chain Connectivity Framework Action Plan, in order to promote a seamless, safe, green and reliable transport system through intermodal connectivity and innovation.
Likewise, they strongly encourage economies to strengthen cooperation on public-private partnerships (PPPs) by sharing best practices on a framework of bankable projects for transport supply chain connectivity and infrastructure, which will increase governments’ capacities to structure their transportation infrastructure transactions to make them both appealing to the private sector and responsive to the needs of the key users of transportation networks.
They encourage economies to actively continue to pursue the goal of market access liberalization, using existing avenues including bilateral and multilateral agreements, for example, the Multilateral Agreement on the Liberalization of International Air Transportation, and the exploration of additional avenues in line with the ICAO’s long-term vision for international air transport liberalization.
Finally, in accordance with the set of core principles outlining best practices in the economic treatment of international business aviation operations, as developed by the TPTWG, the transportation ministers recommended that economies continue to pursue work on facilitating the more seamless operation of business and general aviation across the APEC region. Such operations can connect major Asia-Pacific centers of trade in an unprecedented, time-saving manner. Increased compatibility among economies in their regulatory treatment of this sector may serve to open the door to more opportunities for global commerce. (APEC Communications Group)
|Transportation Chief highlights role of private sector in innovation, infrastructure development|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) APEC ministers acknowledged the importance of the private sector in innovation as well as infrastructure investments in the region especially those under the public private partnership (PPP), Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said.
“The private sector is really important,” Abaya said in a press conference on Friday.
Abaya said they learned a lot from the dynamic discussion with the CEOs during the Friday morning meeting.
“In that way government’s get to hear from the private sector. What do they expect from the government and likewise, the government had the opportunity to explain where the government was coming from.”
He said there were discussions on public private partnership (PPP) projects and most of the economies, advanced or developing, still see the role of PPPs as they catch up on transportation investment for each economy.
Private businesses test the market, invest and actually put a balance between a successful innovation or investment and the risk of failure, Abaya said.
“So that is what the private sector brings in developing more efficient transportation systems.”
In a joint ministerial statement released by the APEC ministers on Friday, they encouraged APEC member economies to strengthen their cooperation on PPPs by sharing best practices on a framework of bankable projects for transport supply chain connectivity and infrastructure.
This initiative could increase government capacities to structure their transportation infrastructure transactions to make them both appealing to the private sector and responsive to the needs of the key users of transportation networks.
“In connection with this, we recognize the importance of collaboration between the transportation technical working group, the Finance Ministers Process, the Committee on Trade and Investment, and the Investment Experts Group within APEC on the topic of PPPs,” they said.
The ministers met for the 9th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting here in Cebu from October 8 to 9. PND (as)
|APEC transport ministers laud the creation of Green Port Award System to fight climate change|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Transport Ministers from APEC member economies encouraged ports in the region to participate in an award system aimed at cutting greenhouse emissions.
In a joint statement issued by the ministers on Friday following a two-day meeting on transportation, they said they support initiatives to promote green technology in transportation.
“We applaud the ongoing efforts by the APEC Port Services Network to promote green growth in the APEC port industry, including the creation of the Green Port Award System,” they said.
“We encourage all economies to participate in the program, as it serves as an important platform for best practices sharing, the promotion of efficiency and sustainability and the improvement of the overall competitiveness of the APEC port industry.”
One of the implementor of green technology in APEC in Chinese Taipei and received an European certification for its works on environment friendly ports.
Jian-Yu Chen, the Minister of Transportation and Communications of Chinese Taipei said in a press conference on Friday that the port of Kaoshuing has been credited by the European Sea Ports Organization (ESPO) as one of its certified eco-ports making it the first in Asia.
It is called the Port Environment Review System (PERS) certification, which is the only port sector specific environmental management standard.
It is the flagship product of the EcoPorts network and is offered as part of the ESPO services to its members through the EcoPorts website.
“In order to obtain the certification, we have to follow certain rules, international norms, inspect and strictly regulate pollutant vessels,” Jian-Yu said adding they installed effective monitoring systems to ensure that all the ports follow international standards.
“So that’s what we’re working on, and hopefully in the future not only the port of Kaoshuing but also all other ports in Chinese Taipei can have such honor.”
To obtain the European certification, Chinese Taipei has to build the capability of its staff, Jian-Yu said adding that they are proud that Chinese Taipei is doing pretty well in that aspect.
APEC transport ministers concluded the two-day 9th APEC Transportation Ministers Meeting here in Cebu on Friday. PND (as)
|Non-traditional transport company tells APEC their new service can help reduce traffic|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) An American-based non-traditional transportation company gave its assurance that it can substantially reduce traffic in the streets of any metropolis in the world particularly Manila where the massive gridlock all over the city confront motorists and commuters on a daily basis.
“We don’t move one person in a car, we move two or three people in the car,” Uber Technologies Inc. Business Asia President Eric Alexander told reporters in the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) transportation meetings held here this week. “The goal is once we build enough supply, we can move multiple people and then we can reduce traffic in the streets.”
And it is not only the traffic congestion that the company can help reduce but also pollution.
“We can reduce CO2 emission,” said Alexander as he pointed out that with the existence of their service, there is the big possibility that there would be a considerable decrease in the volume of vehicles that would ply the streets.
However, traditionally, in a country where Uber has plans to operate, government like to ask the question whether the company has enough supply referring to its available taxi squad.
“What many people don’t know is when Uber enters the market , we actually grow upon, so we take a lot of consumers that traditionally wouldn’t take a taxi and by being able to add a large number of vehicles and a large number of passengers and be able to operate those very efficiently, we can drive the cost down, that’s the vision of what we have for all the APEC economies,” said Alexander.
As a private business, he said Uber looks at it as “up to the minute.”
“If I have enough drivers on the road, rather than a government conducting a long study if we have enough supply, I can tell you on a daily, weekly, hourly basis whether we have enough drivers, and whether we have enough riders, very fine balance,” Alexander explained.
He said what the company has to make sure is that the driver is making enough money.
“This is partly controlled by how much marketing we do and how much demand, so it is a very supply-demand driven market and I think that this is a good example where private industries is very good at,” Alexander pointed out. “My job is to make those drivers money. if I don’t give them enough trips, they won’t make enough money.”
According to the Uber official their company is very open for regulations considering that the service they are offering is new.
“We are different from a lot of traditional transport services that are out there and we grow very quickly and for us we’d like to work very closely with (the governments),” said Alexander.
“We asked the regulators earlier that we are open for regulations and that is very true,” he added. “Uber as a company with a different type of service, it’s non-traditional transportation and so what we’d like to do is to work very closely with the government, the regulators, to establish the right framework. So we are very open to that.” (APEC Communications Group)
|APEC ministers explore technology and innovation in transportation sector|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Transportation ministers of member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will explore the crucial roles of new technologies and innovation in developing an inclusive and sustainable transportation sector in the region.
In a press conference concluding the 9th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting (TMM) here, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Abaya said the future of the transportation sector will require the use of new technology.
Abaya, who is also the TMM Chair, mentioned that innovation such as disruptive technologies, big data applications, and intelligent transport system (ITS) will improve efficiency of the sector.
He also stressed that the use of technology and innovation in the transportation sector will promote inclusive mobility to address transportation requirements especially for those with unique needs including persons with disabilities (PWDs), women, children, and elderly.
In the Joint Ministerial Statement of the 9th TMM, APEC’s transportation ministers agreed to adopt innovation in transportation systems including:
●harmonizing vehicle standards which aims to improve safety and environmental performance of vehicles and for greater economic integration through harmonizing vehicle standards and technical requirements;
●studying disruptive technology and evolving regulations to enhance the capacity, sustainability, and efficiency of transportation systems; and
●using ITS, particularly how it promotes transport networks more accessible to PWDs, elderly, women, children and students, low-income populations, and other vulnerable groups
APEC transportation ministers likewise stressed the importance of the application of Global Navigation Satellite System technologies in attaining seamless and green intermodal transportation to enhance safety, security, and sustainability of transport systems among member economies.
On the other note, Abaya mentioned that APEC ministers also discussed governments’ regulations in the transportation systems with the emerging role of technology in the sector.
“Understandably from the private sector, they would say there should be less regulation. But clearly government is there to regulate in order to put order into things so that rules are clear and to ensure that public interests are still protected by still allowing private sector to earn a reasonable return on their investments,” the DOTC chief said.
“In terms of efficiency and effectiveness, we can’t do away without technology coming in to play and governments should be open enough to adjust and adopt, not as quickly as technology would come in, but at least catch up as things evolve and as fast pace of technology coming in,” he added.
Meanwhile, the joint statement concluded from the 9th TMM will be the two-year roadmap of APEC economies’ transportation ministers for the advancement of the sector.
After the Philippines’ TMM hosting this year, transportation ministers will meet again in 2017. PNA (kc)