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Zamboanga City—Coastal communities, fishermen and tourists will benefit from the landmark inauguration of 143 social and tourism port projects throughout the country, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade stressed on Thursday, 02 December 2021.
Secretary Tugade emphasized that the 143 social and tourism port projects highlight President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s goal of equitable growth and development through mobility and connectivity in the country that must be shared by every Filipino even in far-flung areas.
“Sinabi ng ating Pangulong Duterte na ang growth and development sa ekonomiya ay dapat hindi limitado sa malalaking lugar. Dapat ang buhay na kombinyente at komportable ay maabot at marating lalo’t higit ang ating mga kababayan na nasa lugar na napabayaan at nakalimutan,” Secretary Tugade said.
Secretary Tugade made the statement during the monumental inauguration of 143 social and tourism port projects and the completed development projects in Zamboanga Port.
In the last two years, the DOTr’s Maritime Sector has completed 52 port projects in Luzon, 64 port projects in Visayas, and 27 port projects in Mindanao. The completed port projects have managed to generate 4,000 jobs, and benefitted over 8,000 fisherfolks nationwide.
The 143 seaport projects involve the construction of new and modernized social and tourism ports, as well as the rehabilitation and expansion of existing ports to provide better accessibility to fishers, tourists, and coastal communities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Secretary Tugade also shared a story of one example on how the development of social and tourism ports benefits the community. In Lingayen, Pangasinan, some students had to travel at least 50 minutes to reach their school through a motor banca. With the completed Lingayen Riverside Landing project, students can now reach their destination in just five minutes. 
“Para maka-pasok sa kanilang paaralan, magco-commute sila ng 45 to 55 minutes. Marami ‘hong oras ‘yan para sa isang mag-aaral lalo na’t higit ang mag-aaral ay isang batang paslit,” Secretary Tugade explained.
“Noong nagawa po ito, ‘yung pagbiyahe ng mga estudyante sa kanilang paaralan ay hindi na umaabot ng 45 to 55 minutes. Mr. President, five minutes, nakarating na sila sa kanilang eskwela,” he added.
While addressing the needs of coastal communities and fishers with better port facilities, the 143 newly-inaugurated port projects also improve the country’s connectivity and mobility needs, Secretary Tugade said.
Meanwhile, President Duterte lauded Secretary Tugade, the DOTr, and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) for the continuous delivery of port projects throughout the country, “which will certainly improve the mobility and connectivity of Filipinos.”
“I am happy that almost all of the projects are completed, utilized, and the others are about to be finished. I hope that by the end of my term, makumpleto lahat ng proyekto,” President Duterte said.
“The completion of these port projects will boost inclusive growth to various industries in the provinces, especially in the shipping, fishing and tourism sectors, also with more employment to be generated to various localities,” he added.
In the same event, the completed development projects in Zamboanga Port were also inaugurated. PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago noted that the Port of Zamboanga is only part of the 484 port projects completed by the DOTr-PPA since 2016.
GM Santiago said that the development projects for the Port of Zamboanga include the construction of its RC platform, back-up area and the ongoing construction of its Passenger Terminal Building. Once completed, the Port of Zamboanga’s PTB is expected to be the largest port PTB in the country, which can accommodate 4,500 passengers at any given time, eclipsing the Ports of Cagayan de Oro and Calapan.  
“Ang DOTr at PPA ay nagpapatayo na po ng makabago at modernong Passenger Terminal Building ng pantalan, na siyang tataguriang pinakamalaking PTB sa buong bansa, dahil kaya po nitong mag-upo ng halos 4,500 pasahero kahit anong oras, mula sa halos 800 pasahero na kapasidad ng luma nitong PTB,” GM Santiago said.
Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, for her part, expressed her gratitude to President Duterte and Secretary Tugade for the programs and projects under the Build, Build, Build Infrastructure Development Program, which she stressed “benefits the people of the Philippines.”
DOTr Press Release
02 December 2021