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Convenience and comfort for Filipinos can only be achieved through complete mobility and connectivity in the transport sector, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade said Thursday, 18 November 2021.
 
Taking President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s marching orders to heart, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) continue to deliver on the administration’s promise to make the life of the Filipino convenient and comfortable as the Chief Executive and Secretary Tugade led the inauguration of eight integrated seaport development projects in the provinces of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro.
 
“We are gathered here today to celebrate the opening of the eight ports to make sure that there is mobility and connectivity in Mindoro. Pinapanganak ngayon at binibigyang buhay ang mandato ni President Duterte to make the life of the Filipino convenient and comfortable,” Secretary Tugade said during the inauguration ceremonies.
 
The simultaneous inauguration includes two (2) port projects in the Port of Abra de Ilog in Occidental Mindoro, as well as port projects in the Ports of Calapan, Puerto Galera, Bulalacao, Mansalay, Bansud and Roxas.
 
Highlighting the simultaneous inauguration is the ongoing expansion and construction of the Port of Calapan’s passenger terminal building, which can accommodate 3,500 passengers at any given time.
 
Being the main gateway for the islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the seaports in the provinces of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro play a significant role in boosting the country’s inter-island connectivity for passengers, tourists and facilitation of goods from various areas in the country.
 
Secretary Art Tugade assured President Duterte that additional transportation projects, including the expansion of the Calapan Airport will immediately start to ensure seamless mobility and connectivity in the province.
 
“Hindi lamang magiging community airport ang Calapan Airport, tataas ang antas ng airport to tourism airport kung saan magkakaroon ng scheduled commercial flights upang makatulong sa turismo, hindi lamang sa pagbyahe ng mga taga-Mindoro kundi sa paglago rin ng negosyo,” Secretary Tugade explained.
 
Coupled with the seaport projects, transport initiatives in the aviation and maritime sector will benefit Filipinos, Secretary Tugade stressed.
 
“Kung may development ka sa airport, kung may development ka sa walong puerto. Indeed, masasabi nating the platform for Occidental and Oriental Mindoro has been laid to form—ang makikinabang, ang tao at ang sambayanan,” he said.
 
Meanwhile, PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago said the DOTr and the PPA are slated to complete an additional 100 seaport projects before the end of President Duterte’s term. At present, the DOTr and PPA have completed a total of 484 seaport projects in a five-year span.
 
“Nasa mahigit isang daan pa po ang nakatakdang tapusin ng DOTr at PPA bago matapos ang inyong termino. Ito po ang ambag namin sa Build, Build, Build Program. Ito po ang aming bahagi sa Duterte Legacy,” GM Santiago said.
 
President Duterte commended Secretary Tugade and GM Santiago for the continued completion of transportation infrastructure projects under the Build, Build, Build Program.
 
“I’d like to thank also—it’s a two-way affair—si Art Tugade and the Department of Transportation as well as the Philippine Ports Authority for their work on the eight seaports to be inaugurated today. These accomplishments are made under the Build, Build, Build Program,” President Duterte said.
 
“These public infrastructures will improve public mobility and productivity and help boost economic activity in the area. Masaya ako na nakita ko yung development projects dito sa inyong lugar [Mindoro],” he added.
 
Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito Dolor, for his part, said the seaport projects proves that the national government recognizes the strategic role of the provinces of Mindoro as the main gateway for the islands of Visayas and Mindanao.
 
“The simultaneous upgrades in the different ports will enhance ease and convenience of travel and will bolster the provinces’ bid as key destination for trade and tourism,” Governor Dolor said.
 
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DOTr Press Release
18 November 2021