The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has completed 13 new airports and other aviation-related projects across the country as of this month, the transportation chief said on Tuesday.
In his report to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during a Cabinet meeting, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said that in the last three months since he made a report on newly completed projects, his department has completed 13 airports and six airport projects.
The transportation chief said the new airports were made with modern technology such as contactless check-in and baggage delivery, adding even small community airports become worthy of Filipino pride.
Airport passenger capacity was also widely improved, according to Secretary Tugade. For example, the General Santos International Airport now has a capacity to hold two million passengers a year. Before the expansion, it can only accommodate one million passengers each year.
The Zamboanga airport, meanwhile, is ready for international operation with its newly rehabilitated passenger terminal building, repaired runway, asphalt overlay, as well as new taxiway. A Malasakit Hall and GAD All Purpose Center were also added.
Secretary Tugade, however, clarified that not all airports and airport projects were built from scratch. Rather, some of the projects that DOTr successfully completed this year were projects that had been abandoned in poor condition for over a decade by the previous administrations.
“Tingnan n’yo ho ‘yung nangyari sa Siquijor airport. Ang Siquijor ho, tingnan niyo ‘yung nadatnan natin noong tayo ay nagpunta. Kung natingnan natin na ‘yung Catarman ay isang sari-sari store, titingnan mo ito parang malaking waiting shed,” he said.
Under President Duterte’s term, Secretary Tugade reported that 233 airport projects have already been completed while several more are under construction.
Among the airports and airport projects that the DOTr recently completed are the Bicol International Airport, Butuan Airport, Siquijor Airport, Catarman Airport, Camiguin Airport, New Mactan-Cebu International Airport corporate building and runway, General Santos International Airport passenger terminal building expansion, Zamboanga International Airport passenger terminal rehabilitation, and construction of Malasakit Hall, and GAD All Purpose Center.
Apart from airports and airport projects, the transportation chief said they had also successfully completed in less than three months 33 seaport and maritime projects as well as new Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) headquarters that could boost the country’s security.
Secretary Tugade said that while more than 200 projects have been completed since President Duterte assumed office, 84 other projects are underway, which will be completed before the President’s term ends. PND