PH releases national transport policy IRR

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has released implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the National Transport Policy (NTP), the policy that embodies the government’s intended reforms in the transport sector.

Among policies pushed under the IRR are the use of ports outside Metro Manila, provision of alternative truck routes, harmonization of traffic ordinances, and establishment of a seamless intermodal transport logistics network.

The IRR sets the direction and parameters of the integrated development and regulation of the Philippine transport sector pursuant to the NTP, which was adopted by the NEDA Board in June 2017. The IRR took effect last January 14, 2020 after it was announced in a general circulation publication on December 30, 2019.

The NTP was formulated to help achieve the government’s vision of a “safe, secure, reliable, efficient, integrated, intermodal, affordable, cost-effective, environmentally sustainable, and people-oriented national transport system that ensures improved quality of life of the people,” according to NEDA.

It noted that the absence of a single encompassing policy document for the transport sector has manifested recurring challenges, including the lack of an integrated and coordinated transport network; overlapping and conflict of the functions of transport agencies; transport safety and security concerns; and inadequate transport facilities particularly in conflict-affected and underdeveloped areas.

The authority noted that until legislative policies are passed, policy changes and reforms that can be administratively undertaken under existing laws need to be adopted and implemented to be able to respond to the urgent transport demands and requirements of the national economy.

The NTP IRR applies to all elements of the transportation system and all its sub-sectors, including passengers, operators, service providers, investors, and transport-related agencies and instrumentalities of government, as well as to those involving the movement of people, goods, and services, and the provision of transport infrastructure, facilities and services.

The IRR should also be observed and used as a guide in transport planning, development, implementation, management, and operations.

Under the IRR, the NEDA Board Committee on Infrastructure, through its transport planning arm, Inter-Agency Technical Committee on Transport Planning, should, consistent with the government’s planning cycle, periodically identify, review, and address the strategic resource needs of the transport sector for the short, medium, and long term, including the assessment of the previous fiscal allocation or cost-sharing.

It noted that in assessing people’s needs and reviewing government interventions, the inputs of stakeholders and target beneficiaries will be solicited and reflected in the plans and programs.

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