DOTr chief, Indonesian counterpart eye expansion of transport cooperation

Delegates from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) led by Secretary Jaime Bautista (seated front, right) and Indonesia's Ministry of Transportation headed by Minister Budi K. Sumadi (seated front, left) meet on the sidelines of the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sept. 6, 2023. (Photo by DOTr)

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista and Indonesian Transport Minister Budi K. Sumadi sought to expand the transport cooperation and connectivity between the two countries.

This was discussed after they met on the sidelines of the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders Summit held in Jakarta last Wednesday, Sept. 6. The Philippine Embassy in Jakarta facilitated the meeting between the two ministers.

In a statement Friday, Sept. 8, the DOTr said that Bautista and Budi exchanged views on the resumption of flights to and from Davao and Manado, Indonesia; as well as the commencement of Manado-Manila flights.

They also talked about the possible reopening of the roll-on, roll off (ro-ro) services to and from Bitung, Indonesia – General Santos City – Davao.

“Other transportation matters such as railways, e-vehicles (EVs), and the ongoing development at the Indonesian new capital city Nusantara were likewise discussed,” the DOTr noted.

Bautista and Budi committed to conduct further meetings as they plan to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) cooperation in maritime professionals training.

The proposal, according to DOTr, would allow the sharing of best practices and training between maritime students of both countries, and enable the Philippines to highlight its experiences in the field of maritime training and as major sources of countries for seafarers in the world.

The ASEAN Leaders Summit was held from Sept. 4 to 7 in Jakarta, Indonesia and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. attended the top-level meet along with his Cabinet members.