Tuesday, 8 April 2008

National intermodal plan in the drawing board


THE Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is coming up with a National Transport Plan (NTP) to integrate all modes of transportation in the Philippines and ease the movement of freight and passengers nationwide.

“By 2010, we hope to come out with the NTP that will have a seamless link of all modes of transport for passengers and cargo as the current practice of individualism or ‘kanya-kanya’ in each mode of transport leads to inefficiency that tends to discourage possible tourists and investors to come to the Philippines,” Transport undersecretary Maria Elena Bautista said in a presentation at a forum hosted by the Maritime League of the Philippines.

“We plan… to have our mass transportation such as the LRT and MRT connected to airports and our sea ports connected to rails and truck holding stations for the efficient transfer of passengers and goods in the country,” Bautista, who heads the DOTC water sector, said.

The NTP involves the integration of 31 airports, 28 seaports and seven railway systems that will serve as the core of the integrated transport system.

Identified airports, seaports and railways are those under the super regions including the North Luzon Agri-Business Quadragle, the Metro Luzon Urban Beltway Region, Central Philippines Region, and the Mindanao Region.

The government has earmarked P380 billion to develop intermodal transportation in the country.

For the passage sector, the country’s main airports will be connected to the Light Rail Transit and the Metro Rail Transit. There will be common holding areas for land transportation such as jeeps and shuttle services in strategically located areas.
Earlier, the Philippine Interisland Shipping Association said the country’s intermodal transport does not require an ambitious ships-to-rail, cars-to-trucks transfer of cargoes but a cheaper sea-to-land and land-to-sea service option.

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