Marcos: PH commits to leadership in smart transportation

The Philippines is committed to be a leader in sustainable transportation, President Marcos said.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. speaks during the Indo-Pacific Business Forum held at a hotel in Taguig City on May 21, 2024. (Noel B. Pabalate)

"There is a long way to go still, but we are committed to making the Philippines a leader in smart and sustainable transportation," Marcos said in his speech at the 6th Indo-Pacific Business Forum on Tuesday, May 21.

"And we believe that with the right investments and partnerships, we will achieve that goal," he added.

The President said while the country has not yet reached the point of seamless smart transportation, "we are not standing still either," noting that "a wide range of programs and projects underway" to make the country's transport systems more efficient and cities smarter.

"We are investing in everything from roads and railways to ports [and] airports, all intending to create a transport network that is safe, efficient, and accessible to everyone. Such are the lessons learned from the pandemic," he said.

"We are also embracing new technologies to make our transport systems smarter [and] more responsive to changing needs," he added.

Join PH's infra program

In his speech, Marcos also invited foreign investors to participate in the Philippines' Build Better More infrastructure program, which currently includes 185 priority projects worth P9.5 trillion.

He said the program is set to transform the Philippines' infrastructure landscape, adding that these projects contribute to the goal to be the next logistics hub in Asia.

"Therefore, we invite foreign investors to participate in this endeavor through public-private partnerships, engineering, procurement, and construction contracts, and for feasibility studies, as well," he said.

President Marcos touted the country's Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Code, which he said makes collaboration between the government and the private sector more efficient.

"With the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Code, we have accelerated the delivery of critical projects, fostering economic growth, and enhancing the quality of life for all Filipinos," he said.

Marcos further said the recent establishment of the country's sovereign wealth fund or the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) demonstrates the Philippines' strong commitment to strategically invest in key sectors that will accelerate national development.

"This fund plays a vital role in financing critical infrastructure projects, stimulating economic growth, and generating long-term returns for the benefit of all Filipinos," he said.

"By mobilizing resources and attracting private capital, the Maharlika [Investment] Fund will be pivotal in our goal of creating more opportunities for future generations," he added.

Republic Act No. 11954 or the Act Establishing the MIF was signed by Marcos in July 2023. It is the Philippines’ first-ever sovereign wealth fund  which will be invested in a wide range of assets, including foreign currencies, fixed-income instruments, domestic and foreign corporate bonds, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and high-impact infrastructure projects, and projects related to sustainable development.