MANILA – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said a total of 19 airport and 33 seaport projects were completed in the last three months under the government’s massive infrastructure “Build, Build, Build” program.
In his report during President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘Talk to the People’ on Tuesday night, Tugade said the DOTr, under the Duterte administration, has completed a total of 233 airport projects as of November 2021.
“In a period of three months, nakatapos, nakabuo, at nakaayos ho tayo ng mga paliparan at mga (we completed, built, and repaired airports and) airport projects,” Tugade said.
He said the completed airport projects include the Bicol International Airport, Butuan Airport, Catarman Airport, Siquijor Airport, corporate building and second runway of the Mactan International Airport, General Santos International Airport, among others.
In the maritime sector, he said a total of 484 projects have so far been completed by the Duterte administration.
“For a period of barely three months, nakakumpleto ho tayo, Mr. President, ng (we have completed, Mr. President,) 33 seaport maritime projects,” Tugade said.
Some of the recently inaugurated seaport projects include Tagbilaran Port in Bohol, Port of Maribojoc, Port of Loon, Port of Talibon, Port of Ubay, Port of Tapal, among others.
Next week, he said 11 seaport projects will be simultaneously inaugurated in a virtual ceremony in Calapan, Mindoro.
“Completed expansion and construction, ongoing construction pati ‘yung (including) procurement, 11 ho’ at gagawin natin ‘yung seremonya sabay-sabay, (we will hold a simultaneous virtual ceremony for 11 projects),” Tugade said.
One of these projects, he said, is Calapan Port’s new passenger terminal set to become the biggest passenger terminal in the country with a maximum passenger capacity of 3,500.
He noted that this will be immediately followed by the Zamboanga Port with an even bigger maximum passenger capacity of 4,000 concurrent passengers.
In the railway sector, he said a total of 451 kilometers (km) of railways have so far been built, a far cry from 77 km during the start of the Duterte administration.
“Bago ho matapos ang termino ninyo, hahabulin ko ho ‘yung 1,090 kilometers (Before your term ends, we will strive to reach 1,090 km),” Tugade told Duterte.
In the road transport sector, he showcased the recent rollout of the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) 10-year valid driver’s licenses for drivers with no infractions, the free and online comprehensive driver’s education program, and the PHP1 billion fuel subsidy for 136,000 public utility vehicles (PUV) drivers and operators.
“Bago ho magtapos ang Nobyembre, hangarin po namin na nag-umpisa na at matapos bago magtapos ang taon na ito ang distribution ng 1-billion fuel subsidy (Before November ends, we aim to begin the distribution of the PHP1-billion fuel subsidy and have it completed before the end of the year),” Tugade said.
Despite the pandemic, Tugade assured that DOTr projects under the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program will continue. (PNA)