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ASEAN senior transport execs to discuss infra projects linking member-countries

Delegates to the the 42nd Senior Transport Officials Meeting and 22nd ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting, led by Transportation Secretary Art Tugade, pose for a class picture on Monday at the PICC. (photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon)
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- Transportation Secretary Art Tugade hopes talks this week among his counterparts in the Association of Southeast Asian Countries will pave the way not only to address their respective problems but create a region that is “harmonious, effective and world-class.”

Opening the 42nd Senior Transport Officials Meeting and 22nd ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center on Monday, Tugade boasted of the administration's plans to make the next six years the “Golden Age of infrastructure in the Philippines,” quoting President Rodrigo Duterte's directive to "Build! Build! Build!" 

Over 200 transport officials and delegates from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines are expected to attend the meeting from November 14 to 18.

Tugade, who currently chairs the ASEAN Transport Ministers, invited participants to build "an ASEAN that can make a mark on the development of the world." 

Among the key items in the agenda in this week’s talks are the ASEAN Single Shipping Market and the ASEAN Roll-on Roll-off Shopping Network, which are "designed to facilitate trade, reduce transport costs, and provide easier access to key markets in Southeast Asia through a more connected maritime transportation network."

The transport officials are also expected to sign the ASEAN road safety booklet.

Tugade detailed the government’s plans, including the development of a bus rapid transport system and "a really ambitious" railway project that would extend outside Luzon, as well as directives to develop regional airports and improve seaports, complemented by a roll-on, roll-off shipping network, all towards realizing "more modern, safe, and environmentally compliant" networks.

He also pointed to Duterte’s orders to reduce processing times to improve mobility and connectivity, and to shun corruption.

The latter includes institutionalizing transparency in government operations and the creation of “portals” to allow citizens to monitor the status of projects.