Philippines newspaper, the Manila Bulletin, ran a portrait of Arthur Tugade, State Secretary for Transportation, highlighting the achievements of his department in the last three years. Progress is visible particularly for airports’ infrastructure according to DOTr State Secretary in an interview.
Arthur Tugade is celebrating his 74th birthday on January 9 and the Manila Bulletin had the opportunity to interview the State Secretary over his achievements at the head of the Department of Transportation (DOTr). Under his lead, Tugade speeds up the way the department is working to deliver projects and programs. In the last months of 2019, the department even accelerated the approval of a dozen infrastructure ventures worth over US$11.5 billion (PHP626 billion).
These include the unsolicited proposal for the P48.9-billion modernisation of the Davao International Airport, the P59.3-billion Metro Rail Transit Line 4 (MRT-4), the P45.8-billion unsolicited Operate-Add-Transfer (OAT) Proposal for the Laguindingan Airport, the EDSA Greenways Project and the Maritime Safety Enhancement Program (MSEP).
According to Tugade, the DOTr had completed 61 airport projects nationwide, with 100 more ongoing. Together with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the agency built two international airports, including the country’s first eco-airport, the Bohol-Panglao International Airport and completed the new world-class passenger terminal building for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
The agency added also capacities at international airports in Davao, General Santos, Zamboanga, Iloilo, Kalibo, and Laoag. In the same time span, the construction of the Bicol International Airport is more than halfway complete.
For Manila, while the future PHP734 billion (US$14.5 billion) New Manila International Airport in Bulacan has been delayed, work is going on for the construction of Clark second Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) as well as planning for an additional runway. Work is also due to start on the rail link from Clark to town.
A total of 21 commercial airports have achieved night ratings and nine airports have been awarded On-Time Performance (OTP) star ratings.
In the maritime sector, the DOTr has built and started operations of one land port and completed 218 commercial and social/tourism port projects. There is also a study to introduce motorcycle taxis. But difficulties to implement the new service has pushed back the feasibility study to next March.