Press Release
March 4, 2015

Senator JV Convenes Committee amid Immense Transport Woes

MRT/LRT mishaps coupled with fare hikes, heavy traffic, delayed flights and mismanagement of seaports. These were how Senator JV Ejercito described the situation of the country's transport sector. These situations prompted the Chairman of the Economic Affairs committee to call for a committee hearing on the transportation infrastructure and public-private partnership projects.

Following his filing of petition to the Supreme Court yesterday to stop the MRT/LRT fare hike, Senator JV Ejercito now looks on the bigger picture of the problem by addressing how the problem will be solved through proper management of the PPP projects and transportation infrastructures.

The committee took into consideration Senate Resolution 1115 by Senator Bam Aquino and SR Nos. 966 and 408 by Senators Santiago and Poe, respectively. SR 1115 seeks to inquire on the prioritization of transportation infrastructure projects and the efficiency of systems management in ports and national roads while Senate Resolutions No. 966 and 408, calls on the committee to review the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme in order to maximize the benefits of the public from these projects.

Ejercito said that the people are seeking answer to the question whether the government has a solution to the problems in transportation. "Did the government come up with long term development plan or even short term plans to solve the issue in our transportations?" Ejercito asked.

In the presentation by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) before the Committee, they claimed that once the transportation infrastructure projects are implemented, they are expected to benefit additional 2.2 Million passengers daily with 120 kilometers additional road and rail mass transit. The DOTC is set to implement four PPP projects namely the Automatic Fare Collection System, Mactan-Cebu International Airport Expansion, LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension and the Integrated Transport System (Southwest Terminal).

In rolling out the PPP Projects, Senator JV expressed his concern on the benefits that the government could derive. "Are those projects favorable to the government or are we just adding burden to our public commuters?" Ejercito asked.

The Chairman views the woes in the sector as contrary to what could have been a more responsive action to the country's growing economy.

The committee is set to hold another hearing to further the discussions on the PPP projects exclusively for the transportation industry.

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