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Sunday, June 23, 2024

PH switches to green transport plan

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The Department of Transportation is pushing forward with eco-friendly transportation initiatives to minimize the country’s carbon footprint and create a cleaner future.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said many of its transport projects are directed towards protecting the environment. “The mission is to make travel comfortable, accessible, safe, sustainable and affordable,” he said.

Bautista highlights specific projects like the North South Commuter Railway (NSCR) and the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (DPTMP), both projected to significantly reduce carbon emissions annually.

He said the $15-billion North South Commuter Railway (NSCR) is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 375,000 tons every year.

Meanwhile, the $1.7-billion Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (DPTMP) is projected to cut CO2 emissions by up to 375,000 tons. The road system in Davao City will used by more than a thousand public buses, including 380 electric public utility vehicles.

The government is also building the EDSA Greenways Project—an elevated pedestrian walkway that stretches along five pre-selected stations of the MRT Line 3. The plant-lined walkway offers a breathable alternative to road transport pollution.

Bautista said these three projects, funded by Asian Development Bank, are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by nearly half a million tons annually

“We have a list of big-ticket railway projects advocating trains use in lieu of private vehicles because electric railways have almost the same carbon footprint as walking,” Bautista said.

“We also reasoned that using trains and other public utility vehicles contribute to easing of worsening metro traffic,” he said.

Being constructed simultaneously with the NSCR is the country’s first underground railway system—the Metro Manila Subway.

The 33-kilometer subway, dubbed as the “project of the century”, stretches from Valenzuela in the north to NAIA Terminal Terminal 3 and the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) in the south.

The project is expected to reduce travel time between Quezon City and NAIA from one hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes.

It is expected to serve around 370,000 passengers a day in its first year of full operations, with capacity to serve up to one million passengers a day in later years.

Another major transport project with ADB support is the privatization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA, the country’s main gateway.

Bautista said the private concessionaire is mandated to use renewable energy in partially powering the operations of the whole airport, which include putting up solar panels at terminals and building a new sewage treatment plant.

In the maritime sector, Bautista said the DOTr is strongly advocating for the blue economy. “We are grateful to ADB for the grant that commissioned a study on how domestic maritime shipping can be supported,” Bautista said.

“Specifically, ADB wants to determine opportunities to finance replacement and modernization of existing domestic ships with green technology, while financing the upgrade and construction of green ports,” he said.

“These sustainable transport projects form part of the country’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal, specifically goal number 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – directing us to build resilient infrastructures,” he said.


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