Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte wants an expanded Department of Transportation to formulate and execute a 30-year National Transportation Strategy for the Philippines to sustain the gains of President Rodrigo Duterte’s centerpiece program “Build, Build, Build.”
Villafuerte, representative of Camarines Sur, made the proposal under House Bill 2245.
In his bill, Villafuerte said all transport-related agencies should be merged with the revitalized DOTr, which will then take charge of “rationalizing the structure and functions of the different transport-related agencies and harmonizing all plans” under a long-term national transportation roadmap.
Villafuerte said that in crafting the 30-year NTSP, the new DOTr needed to strengthen the capability of local governments in undertaking transport management and management beyond their current collaborative efforts with this department.
“There is an urgent need for the efficient and effective coordination of transportation and public works projects in support of the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program of the Duterte administration, and with an eye on strengthening LGU capacities in transportation planning and management beyond the present collaborative arrangement between DOTR and local governments,” he said.
“Developed countries such as Japan, Canada, and the United States have put planning and development of transportation systems and infrastructure under one ministry or department for optimum coordination of policy formulation and program implementation,” said Villafuerte in HB 2245.
“This has led to greater efficiency in the use of resources and effective planning and implementation of transportation projects which ultimately benefit the commuting public,” he added.
In his proposal for the government to formulate a national transportation strategy for the country from now till 2050, Villafuerte underscored the need for “a long-term transportation road map, considering the increasing population, high urbanization rate and requirements for the country’s economic growth in urban, rural and far-flung areas of the country.”
“The people deserve to feel safe from preventable accidents and far from road traffic deaths as mobility around the country is rapidly increasing,” said Villafuerte, who represents CamSur’s second district.
HB 2245 is among the first 180 bills filed by Villafuerte before the formal opening of the 18th Congress on July 22.