IN PHOTOS: Transportation Secretary Art Tugade set forth the various transport infrastructure projects, programs, and initiatives of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), during the 40th episode of #TheVirtualPresser, hosted by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), today, 16 June 2021.
During the presser, Sec. Tugade cited the basket of solutions that the DOTr has championed to address long-standing transport issues.
For the aviation and airports sector, Sec. Tugade highlighted that the irrepressible incidents of “Laglag-Bala” and “Bukas Bagahe” at the airports in the past were now gone, and the NAIA—which received a ‘world’s worst airport’ tag back then, has now been proudly recognized as one of the top ten most improved airports in the world, with the completed and ongoing airport enhancement and upgrades.
“As we speak, nawala na po ‘yung kabansagan na ‘yan, at nandoon na ‘ho sa listahan ‘yung NAIA na kung saan sabi nila, indeed, NAIA is one of the most improved airports in the world.”
In the railways sector, Sec. Tugade reported that commuters are now experiencing a much-improved, convenient, and comfortable train ride experience at the MRT-3, through the massive MRT-3 rehabilitation project.
“In-address ‘ho namin ‘yung problema na tinatawag na #MRTirik, na kung saan nabawasan ‘yung tinatawag na breakdown at service interruptions, ‘yung unloading incidents ay nabawasan. ‘Yung pagtakbo ng tren noon—swerte na kung tatakbo ng 20kph, ngayon ‘ho, tumatakbo na tayo 60kph. ‘Yung dilapidated trains ay nabago, at ‘yung problemang riles ay naasikaso. Ultimo ‘yung air-conditioning units, escalators at elevators, lahat ‘ho umaandar na. Nagiging mas kumportable na ang biyahe ng ating mga mamamayan,” Sec. Tugade said.
For the road transport sector, Sec. Tugade reiterated that the DOTr continues to formulate ways to address the so-called EDSA Carmageddon, through various policies and initiatives such as the EDSA Busway, promotion of active transport, EDSA Greenways, among others.
For the maritime sector, Sec. Tugade noted the utilization of modern technology at the country’s ports, which enables a safer, faster, and efficient flow of service.
“Part of the low/hanging fruits, in-introduce natin ‘yung electronic ticketing, na kung saan nababasa ‘yung kung ilan ‘yung pasahero, at kung saan nanggaling ‘yung pasahero. Wala na ‘hong scalping, at mas protektado na ‘yung pagbiyahe sa maritime,” Sec. Tugade said.
Sec. Tugade likewise laid out the medium and long-term plans and development implemented by the DOTr.
In the aviation and airports sector, Sec. Tugade announced that the DOTr, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) have already completed a total of 212 airport projects, while 102 more are well underway.
Sec. Tugade specifically mentioned the realization of Mactan-Cebu International Airport and Bohol-Panglao International Airport, while he underscored the huge headways made on the much-awaited Bicol International Airport.
“Yung noon na panaginip, ‘yung noon ay plano, ‘yung noon ay pang-groundbreaking lang, matatapos at matatapos na ‘ho ‘yan [Bicol International Airport]. Plano ‘ho namin na ito ay maging operational atleast sa domestic, bago magtapos ang taon na ito,” Sec. Tugade affirmed.
He also reported other airport development projects which are finally slated for inauguration, such as the Siquijor Airport, Clark International Airport, Cotabato Airport, General Santos Airport, Zamboanga Airport, and Busuanga Airport.
For the railways sector, Secretary Tugade said that the DOTr has been relentlessly pushing for the expansion of the operational railway length of the country, from only 77 kilometers to 1,200 kilometers.
“Hangarin ko ‘ho na maging 1,200km ang riles. Mahirap at mukhang imposible, pero hindi ‘ho ako titigil at gagawin ko ‘yung aking makakaya upang sa ganon ay makamtan ‘ho natin ‘yung 1,200-km na railway length,” Sec, Tugade said.
Sec. Tugade further enumerated other development projects being implemented in the form of railway projects that are now gaining ground, after being neglected for years, including the Metro Manila Subway. These are the North-South Commuter Railway Project, MRT-7, LRT-1 Cavite Extension, and the LRT-2 East Extension Project.
“‘Yung LRT-2 East Extension, handa na ‘ho kaming i-inaugurate ‘yan sa June 2021, the following day, magiging operational ‘yan. Ito ‘ho, matagal ng pinangarap, matagal ng plinano, matagal ng ginusto. Mangyayari at mangyayari na ‘yan,” Sec Tugade added.
For the MRT-3 Rehabilitation Project, Sec. Tugade asserted, “Noon, bugbong sarado kami sa batikos, pagka’t maraming glitches at unloading. Hindi ‘ho kami ‘yung gumawa ng problema—kami ‘ho ‘yung gumagawa ng solution at ginawa namin ang solusyon.”
For the maritime sector, Secretary Tugade reported that the DOTr, its maritime sector, and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), have already completed 446 seaport projects since 2016, while working on the completion of 117 more.
On maritime safety, security, and modernization, Secretary Tugade said, “Ina-address din ‘ho namin ‘yung security sa karagatan, na kung saan ‘yung Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) ay balitang-balita ngayon sa rescue at relief operations, at balita rin sila sa tinatawag na pag-asikaso ng security ng ating karagatan, lalo’t higit sa West Philippine Sea. Tuluyan din ‘ho ‘yung mga improvements. Nag-acquire ako ng maritime assets. Never before na nagkaroon ang PCG ng ganito kalawak at malaki maritime assets.”
Sec. Tugade also underscored the crucial importance of road safety in public transportation, “‘Yung safety is non-negotiable in public transportation. In fact, safety should be a way of life, should be a commitment, and should be a passion, kasi, wala ‘hong kwenta ang ating ginagawa sa transportasyon kung hindi ‘ho natin gagawin ang safety as a way of life.”
Joining Sec. Tugade in the presser were DOTr Usec. for Railways Timothy John Batan, Asec. for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Steven Pastor, and CAAP Chief-of-Staff Danjun Lucas.