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The completion of the various infrastructure initiatives across regions, under the Duterte administration’s flagship program BUILD, BUILD, BUILD, has been relentlessly pursued throughout its term, and even amid a crippling health crisis because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yesterday marked another historic feat for the country’s maritime sector, as President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade led the simultaneous inauguration of 143 SOCIAL AND TOURISM PORT PROJECTS nationwide and the completed development projects for the Port of Zamboanga.

The 143 completed port projects, spearheaded by the DOTr Maritime Sector, were pushed to provide better accessibility, connectivity and mobility to coastal and island communities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“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 proudly remarked during the ceremony.

“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,” the President added.

For his part, Secretary Tugade, echoed the President’s message and emphatically said that growth and development should be all-inclusive, as he acknowledged the importance of completing the myriad port projects that have been cast aside for long years, and were just fully realized under the current administration.

“Napili ang mga puerto dahil sa mga nakaraang administrasyon noong nakaraang taon ay napabayaan at nakalimutan. Ito po ay malalayong lugar na kung saan dinadalaw ng bagyo at problema, napabayaan at nakalimutan. We chose these ports upang ipakita sa ating mga kababayan na sa administrasyong Duterte, hindi ‘ho sila pinapabayaan at hindi kinakalimutan,” Secretary Tugade said.

He added, “Ito ang programa ng ating Pangulo na kung saan sinabi niya na ang growth at development sa ekonomiya ay dapat hindi limitado sa mga malalaking lugar. Dapat ang buhay na kumbinyente at kumportable ay maabot at marating lalo't higit sa ating mga kababayan na nasa mga lugar na napabayaan at nakalimutan.”

The 143 completed social and tourism port projects, including the development projects for Zamboanga Port form part of the 484 projects completed by the DOTr and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) across the archipelago in the last five years.

All done for the benefit of the Filipino people.

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