Our very own Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) led the Philippine delegation in joining the successful 52nd Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transportation Working Group (TPTWG52) held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 14 to 16 September 2022.
Aside from MARINA, the contingent is composed of on-site and online representatives from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), Office for Transportation Security (OTS), Land Transportation Office-Philippines (LTO), Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI Philippines) Bureau of International Trade Relations (BITR).
Marking the commencement of the next juncture of the working group’s journey following the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the TPTWG52 provided a wide platform for discussions and exchanges of best practices between the four (4) Expert Group, such as the (1) Aviation Experts Group (AEG); (2) Intermodal and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Experts Group (IIEG); (3) Land Experts Group (LEG); and, (4) Maritime Experts Group (MEG) towards infrastructure connectivity in land, water, rail and air, strengthened supply chain resilience and post-age economic growth and recovery opportunities.
The Philippines, through the DTI-BITR, set forth the summary report of the self-funded project, “Policy Roundtable on the Safe Passage of APEC Maritime Workers”, which was endorsed by the TPTWG during the Closing Plenary.
The policy recommendations are seen to complement another Philippine-led project,—the “Study on the Maritime Transport Sector in the COVID-19 Era: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Way Forward”, that aims to facilitate the cross-border movement of maritime workers across the Asia-pacific region, including the consideration of recognizing seafarers and other maritime workers as key workers amongst the APEC economies.
Moreover, the Philippines conveyed its resolve to support the 2023 Aviation Expert Group (AEG) Main Policy Theme, “Unmanned Aircrafts System (UAS): Flightpath to the Future”, proposed by Thailand.
With the resumption of face-to-face and hybrid meetings, the Philippines was particularly invited to take on a leadership role and host a TPTWG or a Transport Ministers Meeting in the near future.