23 November 2010

NEDA makes new push for logistics corridors

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is making a new push to develop logistics corridors, starting with the Subic-Clark-Manila-Batangas (SCMB) corridor as part of a national transport plan.

Initial discussions on the infrastructure planning under the 2010-1016 Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) recommend the creation of "strategic logistics corridors," initially starting off with the SCMB then extending the same northward and then southward.

The MTPDP envisions these corridors as having intermodal transport network system to obtain efficiency.

"The SCMB must be developed to become a seamless intermodal logistics corridor," documents on the initial results of the infrastructure planning subcommittee said.

The documents show how an integrated multi-modal logistics and transport system could not only decongest Metro Manila but also create linkages between business centers and nearby provinces.

This, the NEDA papers said, would help facilitate the efficient flow of commodities and inputs to economic and industrial zones.

"The development of seamless intermodal transport and logistics systems along strategic corridors will promote productivity and competitiveness," the documents said.

The NEDA points to inadequate and unstable funding for the construction and development of facilities as the culprit in the deficiencies in our transport system.

"Assessment of the country’s transport infrastructure network indicates that its quality and capacity remain low, even if the quantity of transport compares favorably with most Asean countries," the papers said.

Subic and Clark are the nearest economic industrial zones to Metro Manila, one offering a port and the other an airport. Metro Manila is linked to the two zones through road networks, the North Luzon expressway and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway.

Linked to Metro Manila by the South Luzon expressway down south is Calabarzon, home to specialized industries and processing activities. The corridors complement each zone’s strengths in agriculture and manufacturing.

The corridor now accounts for 80 percent of the national cargo and about half of yearly economic output. (Malaya Business Insight)