PPA taps Canadian rail expert for planned freight rail

May 28, 2013 10:21 pm 

MANILA, May 28 — The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has started exploratory talks with Canadian Pacific Consultants to conduct a study on the planned cargo rail for efficient cargo transport.

PPA general manager Atty. Juan Sta. Ana said they are looking at cargo rail project to have the most efficient logistics system especially in the busy Manila ports.

“We’re talking with Canadian experts for possible rail connectivity in North Harbor, South Harbor and the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT),” Sta. Ana said.

The government sees the need to revive the cargo rail links that used to transport container cargo from Manila ports to container yards near economic zones in order to help decongest traffic going to Manila ports.

PPA sees the need to link the Manila ports to end –destination in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon (Calabarzon).

The “PPA roadmap to decongest Manila and utilize Batangas port” presented by PPA Port District Manager for Southern Luzon Hector Miole to the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) contains action plans such as rail connectivity and barge transport.

The PPA roadmap will be approved by the DOTC for submission to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Infrastructure and Utilities Development Committee (InfraCom).

The PPA roadmap aims to “develop strategic logistics corridors such as Subic – Clark-Manila- Batangas (SCMB) to become seamless intermodal logistics corridors.”

PPA will include the possible railway connectivity to ports along the SCMB corridor in the study to be conducted by the Canadian experts.

The PPA has set the study would take eight months to complete and implementation would come in three years, with the DOTC-PPA as lead agency along with Philippine National Railways (PNR), and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

PPA is also looking at using barge to bring cargoes to Cavite- Manila, Batangas, and Subic ports. This time, PPA will be working with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) for the barge transport and with the Department of Finance (DOF) for tax incentives.

Based on the PPA timeline, this project will be implemented in two years from January 2014 to January 2016.

PPA will also establish dry ports in the Calabarzon and North of Manila. It was also suggested that depot should be located near industrial zones, as depots are meant to be located near the export and manufacturing zones, not necessarily adjacent to the ports.

Stakeholders in the port industry are working on developing and implementing a policy, regulation and program that operationalizes the need to gradually shift a substantial margin of international container cargo to Batangas and Subic ports.

The plan will upgrade the quality, improve the performance and efficiency of port operations in the country and help accelerate economic growth. (PNA)

DSP/GVF/UTB

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