MAKATI CITY, Philippines — Last November 24, 2017, GIZ and Clean Air Asia (CAA) co-facilitated the “Workshop on the Development of a Green Freight Programme in the Philippines” held at Valero Grand Suites, Salcedo Village, Makati City. The workshop sought to explore opportunities for green freight (GF) programme development in the Philippines, and to foster alignment and collaboration among relevant government agencies, development organisations, and private sector, in developing the programme.
Freight transportation is one of the drivers of economic growth in a country. For an archipelagic nation like the Philippines, it is a tall order to make sure that goods are moved efficiently and safely at reasonable cost. On top of this, global agenda on climate change makes it imperative that freight transport be done in a way that would have the least negative impact to the environment which ultimately would be beneficial for overall human well-being.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), led by the Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business Group (CEODBG), has just recently finalised the National Logistics Master Plan which is aimed at providing strategic direction towards overall improvement of logistics performance of the country. This will be implemented in coordination with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) who is the lead in implementing the ASEAN Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan 2016-2025 (KLTSP) that highlights transport facilitation and green logistics. The workshop became a venue for DTI, DOTr and its attached agencies, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), other government agencies, development partners, and the private sector consisting of trucking and freight forwarder companies and associations from Metro Manila and nearby regions, to meet and discuss about harmonising their efforts to come up with a unified programmr for green freight and logistics.
The workshop began with opening remarks from ASec. Mark de Leon, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure, and a message from USec. Ruth Castelo, DTI Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business Group. Both officials highlighted each Department’s priorities with regards to improving freight transport and logistics in the country and they look forward to an enhanced collaboration between the two Departments. This was followed by an introduction about the GIZ Transport and Climate Change (TCC) Project and its GF initiatives in Southeast Asia by the Deputy Project Director, Mr. Friedel Sehlleier. An overview of the GIZ support to the GF programme development was provided by Ms. Pia Agatep, CAA’s Transport Project Specialist. Afterwards, Dr. Jane Romero, Senior Consultant of CAA, presented the workshop objectives and led the levelling off of expectations.
The workshop was divided into 3 major input sessions. First one was a round-table discussion facilitated by Dr. Romero between DTI (represented by Ms. Sarah Lope, Division Chief of Supply Chain and Logistics Management Division), DOTr (ASec. Mark de Leon), NEDA (Mr. Valter Morada, Division Chief in the NEDA Region IVA Office), Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association (PISFA) (Ms. Mariz Regis, President), and CAA (Atty. Glynda Bathan-Baterina, Deputy Executive Director)”.
For the second part of the workshop, the participants were divided into 3 groups, each tasked to conduct a rapid gap and SWOT analysis of green freight in terms of data availability, policy framework, financial capacity, technological and operational proficiency, and other relevant factors. Finally, the truck and forwarder companies and associations were asked to fill up the freight assessment survey which would be consolidated with more than 60 responses from other companies in other regions of the Philippines. To give the companies additional knowledge about other impacts their trucks would have on climate change, Ms. Maraida Licerio of the GIZ Cool Contributions fighting Climate Change (C4) Project gave an introduction about the global warming potential of refrigerants used by trucks to transport perishable goods and others.
At the end of the workshop, Atty. Baterina of CAA delivered the closing remarks stressing the importance of this activity as a starting point for further collaboration between agencies in achieving better freight transport and logistics performance. The outputs from the workshop will be part of the TCC-CAA project to come up with an in-depth assessment of the state-of-affairs of the road freight and logistics sector, which includes state and trends, fleet management and maintenance practices, and interests, motivations, and barriers in the adoption of greener and more efficient freight and logistics practices. The assessment aims to recommend concrete actions on data and policies for developing the green freight agenda in the Philippines.
This initiative is conducted by the GIZ TCC Project in collaboration with Clean Air Asia as part of the Project’s overall objective of improving the conditions for the implementation of measures to increase energy efficiency and reduce climate relevant emissions from the land transport sector in the ASEAN Region.