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Improved and modern transportation systems will not only push local and regional economic growth, they will also reap tangible benefits for the Caraga Region and the whole of Mindanao, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade said Thursday, 05 August 2021.
 
The Transport Chief made the statement as the DOTr and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) unveiled the newly-rehabilitated Butuan Airport in Agusan del Norte. Development works in the said gateway covers the runway asphalt overlay to provide aircraft with smoother take-offs and landings, and the improvement of the airport’s passenger terminal building (PTB).
 
“Ito po yung kahalagahan nito, sa pagkakaroon ng mobility and connectivity, umusad at lumago ang ating pamumuhay at hindi lang turismo. Binago ang mga equipment na ito nang ganun, tuluyan at tuluyang magamit ang paliparan na ito maski na ‘ho sunset, iyon po ang isang programa na kung saan isang kadahilanan na nagsasama-sama tayo dito,” he pointed out.
 
Another vital facility added to the Butuan Airport is the Malasakit Hall, which is part of the airport’s modernization and people-centered service delivery thrust. The Malasakit Hall will serve as a waiting area for airline passengers and features a clinic, a childcare room, a loung for overseas Filipino workers, a prayer room, a washroom, and a concession space for passengers.
 
Sec. Tugade likewise instructed CAAP to further expand the Malasakit Hall, especially the OFW Lounge and the Clinic in order to accommodate more at any given time.
 
"Mayroon pa namang lugar sa likod, tiningnan ko iyon kanina baka pwedeng gibain na yung likuran at i-extend pa ng sa ganun mas maluwag at mas malaki yung ating mga pasilidad sa tinatawag natin na Malasakit Hall. Ganun pa man, bagamat may rekomendasyon ng pagbabago bago i-inaugurate, meron na agad rekomendasyon na palakihin. Sana ho ay magawa ito sa lalong madaling panahon," he added.
 
The airport’s passenger terminal building (PTB) will further be expanded as well so to offer passengers better service and accommodation.
 
“Kaya sinabi na sana ang PTB ay mapalaki at mapaluwag dahil makakadagdag ito sa kapasidad ng 500 passengers. Starting next month, magsisimula na ang bidding and procurement process then actual construction will start,” the transport chief pointed out. 
 
CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco said the P33.59 million Butuan Airport PTB expansion project is now under procurement and will have October 10, 2021 as its target start date and May 23, 2022, as target end date.
 
DG Sydiongco added that the agency has also completed the replacement of the airport's Doppler Very High Frequency Omni Range (DVOR) - an air navigation aid - last December 2019. The system improves the radio navigation at the airport to aid aircraft in determining their position relative to the Butuan Airport.
 
Sec. Tugade also inaugurated on the same development projects in the Cantilan Port in Surigao del Sur.
 
With these transport projects, comfort and convenience to passengers are assured in addition to the region's trade and tourism growth. Small businesses are also expected to flourish as more jobs will be generated with the two upgraded transport infrastructures.
 
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