The Philippines has the high potential growth in supply chain as the country was ranked 52nd out of 155 nations in the logistics performance index last year better than its Asean neibhbors.
NEDA deputy director general Emmanuel Esguerra stressed that the logistics and transport industries are part of the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016.
Esguerra said the government is promoting the country in attracting investments in logistics and infrastructure, full restructuring of ports, upgrading of quality and capacity, improvement of performance and efficiency of port operations, and promoting competition.
The plan also includes the development of ports facilities under public-private partnerships and adoption of comprehensive ling-term national transport policy that will guide restructuring of the transport sector into well-coordinated and integrated multi-modal transport system, said Esguerra.
The government also is drawing up a master plan for the transport sector that aims to bring down logistics costs and amend the cabotage law.
Transportation and Communications Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco said the plan is also aimed at providing interconnected transport systems and develop infrastructure to boost tourism.
The government is working with the International Finance Corp. (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank, to implement pro-competitive shipping policies for the domestic shipping industry.
IFC is helping the government determine how to bring down the cost of shipping, especially of high-volume farm products, and helping farmers and agricultural workers ship their goods efficiently.
Limcaoco said the plan involves increasing competition, building more modern ports, reconfiguring port charges and modernize the country’s transportation infrastructure and bring down logistics cost by 14 to 15%.
Under the port modernization program, the DOTC will rehabilitate ports in Bicol, Aklan and Cebu while the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) will rehabilitate ten tourism ports in various parts of the country.
DOTC plans to expand Cebu, Iloilo, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro ports into fully containerized ports. It is also looking at an interconnected transport system, the addition of the new urban mass transit system, a bus rapid transport system for each of Cebu and Metro Manila and the revival of the Pasig River ferry system via private partnership in 2015.
Limcaoco noted that the proposed P60-billion Central RoRo (roll-on/roll-off) spine system that will link Manila and Northern Mindanao expected to cut transport time to 20 hours from 48 hours.
The project will connect Mindanao to the islands of Panay, Cebu and Bohol via high-speed toll roads and catamaran vessels. Subject to a public-private partnership structure, the project is undergoing a feasibility study that would completed early next year.
“We are looking at amending the restrictive cabotage law in the Philippines to further bolster trade and lower the cost of shipping throughout our archipelago,” Limcaoco added.