Improving inter-regional connectivity among DPWH priorities to cut transport costs  

MATNOG Port is a jump-off point for cargo and passenger vehicles traveling from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao, the central and southern parts of the country. — MARINA 

THE DEPARTMENT of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Monday said improving connectivity between regions is one of its priorities to help bring down the cost of goods and services.   

“I think one of the focus of this administration is to address… traffic congenital problems of inter-regional connections, so that we can provide unimpeded, safe travel from one region to another,” DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan told the Senate during a hearing on public works.   

“Right now, there are many congested areas along the main thoroughfares connecting regions,” he added.  

The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands with three main groupings — Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.  

Mr. Bonoan cited that the cost of transporting goods in the Philippines is one of the highest in Southeast Asia at about P480 per ton-kilometer due to traffic congestion issues. The average cost in neighboring countries is only around P250 per ton-kilometer. 

“If we are able to reduce this, I think it would have a big impact on reducing the cost of goods and services,” he said.  

Other priorities of the agency include completing ongoing projects under the previous administration’s Build, Build, Build program; pursuing convergence programs with other government agencies to support food production, agriculture, tourism, small and medium enterprises, among others; and support other infrastructure needs of local governments. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan