Last 20 May 2011, the EST Strategy for the Philippines was formally launched after 2 and a half years of preparation, consultation, and negotiations among various stakeholders. Support from the Department of Transportation and Communications, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, NGOs, academe, and others was explicit. Now the question is how do we implement the strategy. We posed these questions to the panelists composed of Asst. Secretary George Esguerra of DOTC, Paul Villarete, MCIAA General Manager (former Cebu City Planning Coordinator), Bruce Dunn, Environment Specialist from the ADB, and Baher El-Hifnawi of the World Bank.
1. The Philippines already have many transport policies and laws including sustainable transport , what do you think could be important or critical factors to make sure that the strategy is implemented, especially at the local levels?
2. National governments and cities often lack the funds to exercise its role in providing good transport for its citizens. How will the EST address this? What are innovative and/or new mechanisms on how funding can be sourced or generated for EST?
3. Some EST elements do not require high capital investments astraditional transport projects like rail and road. Examples areintegrated public bus systems or bus rapid transits, cyclingfacilities and better pedestrian facilities. What do you think are the main barriers in implementing these kind of projects at city level? Can you give examples on how these are integrated into current loans and projects?
Responses can be broadly classified on the following:
1. Prioritize actions and develop clear action plan
2. Integrate with other government policies and coordinate among other relevant government agencies
3. Support capacity building at the local levels
4. Establish awareness raising campaign and marketing strategy especially at the local levels
I thought it would be useful to get feedback from members of this COP and communicate relevant ideas to DOTC and DENR, and of course also incorporate in our projects.