Improving the Philippines logistics performance – Development of national standards on road-based freight transportation in the Philippines

Makati City, Philippines – In August 2018, the Department of Industry and Trade (DTI) invited representatives from truckers’ associations, freight forwarding companies, and other private sector stakeholders to join relevant government agencies and civil society organisations to become part of the so-called Technical Committee (TC) No. 84. The newly established committee has the purpose of developing standards to improve the overall efficiency, reliability and sustainability of the country’s logistics .

The standard was drafted in a subsequent writeshop in September, based on four principles: reliability, safety, cost efficiency and A total of 35 participants provided inputs during the writeshop. The completed draft Philippine National Standards (PNS) 2135:2018 is envisioned to be finalised by the end of 2018.



Specific recommendations on climate protection include the following:

  • maximum allowable weight for loading, to reduce GHG due to overloading
  • periodic vehicle maintenance and inspection to ensure optimum performance and emissions
  • route planning and optimization as well as load sharing through operator collaboration, in order to reduce vehicle trips

Other environmental concerns, such as proper handling of hazardous waste, were also addressed by the standard in the context of upholding holistic environmental sustainability in freight transport.


The logistics performance of the Philippines, as measured by the World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI), had been steadily degrading as evidenced by a continuous drop in the country’s ranking from 44th in 2010 to 71st in 2016. Led by the DTI, the country has taken to address its weakening performance and has recently seen its rank improve for 2018. DTI has initiated regional roadshows since last year to reach micro, small and medium enterprises in various provinces and islands of the Philippines, including trucking and freight companies to discuss how to boost competitiveness in the sector. This year,with a total LPI score of 2.91 for 2018, the Philippines ranks 64th out of 160 countries and 6th within ASEAN behind Singapore (5th overall), Thailand (34th), Malaysia (35th), Vietnam (45th), and Indonesia (51st). With the development of the standard, DTI wants to take a further step towards a more competitive and ecologic logistics sector. As the sector improves, movement of goods is expected to increase; but it is also foreseen to bring with it more GHG emissions if no mitigation actions are implemented (business-as-usual). In a study conducted by the Asian Development Bank in 2017, it was projected that by 2050, around 19% of the total emissions from transport would come from trucks even though they only represent about 5% of the total road vehicle population in the Philippines. DTI understands that balancing economic growth and environmental impact is key to sustainable development for the Philippines.

This initiative is being supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the GIZ Project Transport and Climate Change (TCC). For more information on Green Freight and Logistics Policy Development in the Philippines also refer to the following recent GIZ publication: Assessing Freight Transportation in Support of a National Green Freight Programme”.