By Jenina P. Ibañez

THE National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) released on Monday the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the National Transport Policy.

NEDA said that this “sets the direction of and parameters for the integrated development and regulation of the Philippine transport sector.”

The IRR said that a Philippine Transportation Master Plan will be formulated, which will guide transport agencies and local governments in developing the transport network “through coordinated planning and operation of projects and programs as an integrated network.”

NEDA set regulations for passenger transport services, where routes of operation will be determined by travel demand and route capacities.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will evaluate the public transport network based on local demand and infrastructure, opening the routes to operators through a competitive selection or bidding process without preferential rights.

The appropriate regulatory body sets and adjusts transportation fees, and may intervene in fee-setting contractual arrangements that adversely affect the public interest.

Shipping and airline operators set their fares, but may be subject to intervention to protect the public interest.

The IRR also addressed congestion concerns, prioritizing “cost-effective mobility management measures” over expensive infrastructure facilities.

Traffic measures include improved road and bridge designs, parking restrictions, consolidated traffic ordinances, and traffic education. The IRR calls for providing alternative routes for trucks in cases of bans and the development of shipping ports outside of Metro Manila.

The IRR included regulations for economic sectors — strengthening the supply chain by removing arbitrary local government costs and improving the agriculture and tourism sectors providing transport infrastructure for economic sectors.

The relevant transport agencies will provide a single transport document for customs, immigrations, quarantine, environmental protection, and security across all transport modes, as well as a one-stop shop for administrative processes.

The IRR set the responsibilities of national and local government, setting the use of national government resources to national roads and transport infrastructure that connect regions and serve as international gateways, among others.

Local governments will be required to prepare a transportation sector plan to exercise primary responsibility in constructing and maintaining local transportation.

The IRR also set the parameters for private sector participation and collaboration between local and national government.

The regulations set parameters to separate redundant functions of transport agencies and for the improvement of coordination between transport agencies and local government.