President Benigno S. Aquino III has ordered the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) to accelerate the establishment of an integrated mass transport network to spur economic development in the country, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Sunday.
The Chief Executive signed on February 21 Executive Order No. 67, providing for the creation of an integrated and multimodal transport system under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) as the administration’s centerpiece strategy for infrastructure development.
“President Aquino recognizes the importance of an organized mass transportation system, which is why he has made it a priority to interconnect the nation’s mass transportation systems such as buses and railways within his term,” Ochoa said.
“This seamless transport network system is one of the focal points of the Aquino administration’s infrastructure development program under the 2011-2016 Philippine Development Plan and under the Public-Private Partnership framework,” he added.
The DOTC is mandated as the primary policy, planning, programming, coordinating, implementing, regulating and administrative entity in the promotion, development and regulation of dependable and coordinated networks of transportation systems for fast, safe, efficient and reliable transport services.
Under EO 67, the project, which will be called the Integrated Transport System (ITS), will include establishment of two integrated transport terminals with international standards in the north and south of Metro Manila. The locations of the transport terminals are envisioned to provide effective interconnection between different transport modes and services for seamless travel for the commuting public.
Other integrated transport terminals may likewise be established for the same purpose, according to the President’s directive.
Ochoa explained that on the instruction of the President, the project will be included in the 2011-2016 Public Investment Program (PIP) of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and will be structured under any of the modes provided for in the build-operate-transfer law.
The presidential issuance also provides for the creation of an interagency committee, which will serve as the advisory body that will ensure the immediate implementation of the project.
The DOTC secretary and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson are designated as the interagency committee’s chairman and vice chairman, respectively.
Other members of the committee are the secretaries of the Departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Interior and Local Government (DILG); director general of NEDA; chairman of the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB); and the assistant secretary of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
Aside from overseeing the implementation of the ITS, the interagency committee is tasked to regulate the terminal fees that may be charged for the use of transport terminals and other facilities established under the project.
Funding for the operation of the interagency committee will be drawn from regular budget of each member-agency.
EO 67 shall take effect immediately upon publication in a newspaper of general circulation. ###