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Towards a new economic paradigm.

The common good always lies beyond parochial interest. The immediate negative effects of the Truck Ban Policy can easily be neutralized by tremendous opportunities beyond the borders of this current conflict of interest.

A total view of this problem in urban congestion opens up a new economic paradigm which reflects comparative advantages for an island economy of an archipelagic country. For instance, this truck ban of the Local Government of Manila can be complemented by a National Policy to decongest the International Port of Manila by opening up two International Sea Ports in Subic and Dingalan Bay. This modern seaport open a New Economic Corridor connected to the powerful economic tripod of Manila, Subic and Dingalan Bay. This new seaport arrangements fulfils our dream of creating a Metropolitan Circular National Highway as big as the distance from Baler to Subic down to Manila up to Pagbilao, Quezon and then back to Baler.

The complementary Network Radial Highway System of this C-Highway can rearrange the current congestions towards a more organized integration for the on-going economic expansions in the area. Consequently, this Tripod of the Flow of the Land and Sea Transport should connect to the modernization of our Local and International Airport Systems. This Integrated Transportation System of Land-Sea-Air is what is needed to enhance the Green Industrializations of the Big and Small Islands in the first quarter of this 21st Century.

This new economic arrangements in the Philippines is powerful to attract the current economic expansions of Asia and the Pacific Region. We know that we are practically inside the hub of this huge economic transformation of the world where the wealth had already transferred from the Continents of Europe and America in the west towards the East.

At present, (95%) of global trade passes us by in the Pacific Side of the country. As there are no huge economic expansions in the country for the past 50 years, the Superpanamax generation of cargo vessels has to make an expensive archaic turn around away from this Pacific Highway towards Subic, Manila and Batangas. This New Eastern Economic Corridor of the country in the Pacific Side is likewise connected to both Subic and Manila.

This enforces our preparation when the Asean Integration takes into effect come 2015. With this Economic Corridor in the Pacific, Philippines becomes the "gateway" of Asean Region to World Trade and commercial expansions in the early quarters of the 21st century.

Therefore, there should be no turning back from the Truck Ban of Erap towards the new economic century for the country. We could start now by controlling the flow of cargoes entering Manila Bay complemented by establishing our Economic Corridor in the Pacific Ocean.

This renewed flow of cargoes flows from the east will generated bigger earnings to shipping companies from avoiding this huge archaic turn towards Subic, Manila and Batangas. This economic gains of the shippers will attract more trade flows making our Pacific Port as competitive as Keelang Port of Singapore. As the distance from Quezon to Manila is bigger and better, the net economic earnings of the Truck Operations will also be improved compared to the present situations of congestions and less velocity of expansions of their business operations.

(By Dr. Ernie Gonzales, Fellow-Asia Research Center, London School of Economics)

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Title Annotation:Business News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Feb 27, 2014
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