Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade on Wednesday, 30 June 2021 personally vowed to advance transport initiatives that will usher social, economic, and tourism developments in the province of Batangas as he led the inauguration of the upgraded Port of Talaga.
During the inauguration of the newly improved and rehabilitated Talaga Port in the town of Mabini, Sec. Tugade said he will make sure that transport initiatives, such as a Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) service, the establishment of a ship building and auxiliary Land Transportation Office (LTO) office in Mabini, and the construction of a port in the adjacent island in Tingloy will be realized.
Tugade eyes the start of the RO-RO service and facilities within six months.
“Yung sambayanan dito sa Mabini magagamit ito, hindi lang pang-divers at turista, kundi para sa ordinaryong tao, sa ordinaryong mangangalakal. Ang Talaga Port, in six months, magkakaroon ng RO-RO facilities, nang sa ganun, 'yung Talaga Port, hindi lang gagamitin ng mga divers, kundi 'yung mga nakatira dito, 'yung mga mag-aaral, 'yung mga trabahador ay makakagamit ng RO-RO,” Secretary Art Tugade said.
Tugade also pledged to Mabini, Batangas Mayor Noel Luistro the establishment of a port in the adjacent island of Tingloy that will make it cheaper for Tingloy residents to reach the municipality of Mabini.
“Kapag babaybay papunta rito sa Mabini ang mga taga-Tingloy gagastos sila ng P500 mahigit para lamang makapunta rito pagkat iisa lamang ang pier at iisa lamang ang fast-craft. Narito po si PPA GM Jay Santiago, na kilala nating lahat na mabilis kumilos. Sisiguraduhin n’ya na ito ay maisasakatuparan bago matapos ang panunungkulan ng ating Pangulo,” he explained to Mayor Luistro.
Likewise, Tugade said that a study to construct a ship building facility in Mabini is also being studied to provide jobs to residents of the town and those from nearby areas.
“Hangarin naming magkaroon ng shipbuilding facility, partikular dito sa Mabini, Batangas, upang mapalakas ang kapasidad ng ating bayan na makagawa ng sarili nating passenger at cargo vessels, at bilang tugon na rin sa direksyon ng Kagawaran na gawing moderno ang ating mga sasakyang pandagat. Pinaplano na po natin ‘yan. Inaayos na namin ang financing ng facility,” Sec. Tugade said.
For his part, Mayor Luistro expressed his gratitude to Sec. Tugade for his commitment to finish the rehabilitation of the Port of Talaga.
“Ang ating PPA at ang Kagawaran ng Transportasyon, mabilis kumilos. Atin ‘hong pasalamatan sila sa ginawa nilang pagtugon sa kahilingan ng mamamayan ng Mabini. In 2017, we started to request this to PPA. Desidido ‘ho kami na i-restore ang Talaga Port. At ngayon, ang proyekto inaasahan ng mga taga-Mabini na magdudulot ng panibagong kaunlaran at hanapbuhay ng aking mga kababayan,” Mayor Luistro said.
Meanwhile, a Land Transportation Office (LTO) auxiliary office to be located in Mabini is likewise expected to become operational before the end of the term of President Duterte. The new LTO office will serve the needs of Mabini residents such as processing of driver’s licenses and other transport registration needs, Sec. Tugade said.