Monday, November 30, 2020

Tugade leads DOTr team in inspections of seaports, airports over long weekend

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) took advantage of the long weekend - which ends on Monday with the marking of Bonifacio Day - to conduct a series of inspections of seaports and airports in Samar, Cebu, Aklan, Tacloban and Dumaguete.

On Saturday, 28 November, Team DOTr's first stop was Calbayog, Samar, where Secretary Arthur Tugade led the inspection of the Calbayog Airport to check on the progress of its construction. The construction of the new Calbayog Passenger Terminal Building, as well as the widening/expansion of its runway and apron shall be completed in December 2020.

After inspecting the Calbayog Airport, the transport chief and other DOTr officials proceeded to conduct an inspection of the Manguino-o Port, also in Calbayog, Samar.

“It is important that we inspect these airports and seaports, especially those that were in the path of the strong typhoons that recently barreled through the country. We must make sure that operations in these facilities will not be disrupted, and that these are safe for operators and passengers to use,” said Transportation Secretary Tugade.

The Manguino-o Port was previously damaged by Tropical Storm Tisoy, and will undergo rehabilitation starting December 2020.

Rehabilitation works will cover the construction of a continuous Ro-Ro (roll-on-roll-off) ramp and a new Port Operations Building. Partial operability is slated before the end of 2021.

After inspecting the Calbayog airport and Manguino-o port in Samar, Secretary Tugade, along with other DOTr officials, immediately proceeded to Leyte to check on the progress of the Tacloban Airport Development Project.

Upon arrival in Tacloban, Secretary Tugade met with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) project management office and the contractor of the New Tacloban Airport Development Project, for a more comprehensive update on the project’s timeline and deliverables.

During the meeting, it was disclosed by the contractor that the original contract duration for the construction of the new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) of the Tacloban Airport is 540 calendar days, which means it will only become operational by the 2nd quarter of 2022.

Knowing that the project is of prime importance to the citizens of Leyte and nearby regions, Secretary Tugade directed the contractor to reduce the contract duration to 270 days, through the implementation of 24/7 work schedule. The contractor agreed and committed to submit a revised implementation and catch up plan to CAAP by next week.

With this development, the new passenger terminal building of the Tacloban Airport is expected to be operational by the third quarter of next year, instead of the second quarter of 2022.

The DOTr Team also visited the Tacloban Port in Leyte to check its status and the ongoing developments, giving Secretary Tugade an opportunity to interact with port employees. He conveyed his appreciation for their work and reminded them of the need to be take care of the vital facility and to serve the people well.

“Tulong ko, ituloy mo,” Secretary Tugade told the PPA employees, as he reminded them that his sacrifice, together with that of other DOTr officials who were working and inspecting projects even during long weekends, is his way of helping other Filipinos develop their respective communities.

The DOTr Secretary reminded PPA employees that as members of their own communities, they should also continue pursuing this cycle of helping one another by paying it forward.

After Tacloban, the Team flew to Bantayan Island in Cebu, for their last stop of the day, to inspect the construction works at the Bantayan Airport in Cebu, where Secretary Tugade noted that the airport’s runway is now 100% complete. The airport’s perimeter fence is also about 75% complete.

The transport chief said the total project is now about 85% complete, with the last stages of concreting the 1.2-kilometer runway extension estimated to be completed by the end of the year.

“We will finish before the end of the year," Secretary Tugade noted.

On the 2nd day of inspection, Team DOTr landed in Dumaguete to inspect and check on the progress of the Dumaguete Airport Development Project.

Secretary Tugade and his team of officials inspected the newly-completed expansion project of the airport’s Passenger Terminal Building, as well as the asphalt overlay and shoulder grade correction of its runway.

After inspecting the Dumaguete Airport, Team DOTr then conducted a flyover inspection of the New Siquijor Airport, whose Passenger Terminal Building, Powerhouse and Vehicular Parking Area were completed last 30 October 2020.

After the fly-over inspection of Siquijor Airport, and to cap off their hectic weekend work schedule, Team DOTr led by Secretary Tugade, inspected the progress of work being done on the Kalibo International Airport Development Project in Aklan.

The DOTr team underwent a walk-through of the Kalibo Airport work area, and inspected the site development works for a new apron, taxiway, Passenger Terminal Building, Vehicle Parking Area, and the Airport Access Road. This development project is expected to be completed by July 2021, with the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) improvement project now 98% complete, and will be ready for operability before the end of this year.

Although not included in their itinerary, Team DOTr decided to seize the opportunity to conduct a surprise inspection at nearby Roxas Airport in Capiz to check on the progress of the ongoing site acquisition.

Upon landing, the transport chief and Team DOTr were welcomed by Roxas City Mayor Ronnie Dadivas, Pueblo De Panay Inc. CEO Jose Neri Ong, and Roxas Airport Manager II Cynthia Aspera.

The Team made the rounds at the Roxas Airport facilities, and also checked the proposed site acquisition for expansion. The team also inspected the completed asphalting of the runway shoulders and strip grade correction. The initial phase of Roxas Airport Development project was completed last 2019.

Joining Sec. Tugade during the week-end inspection were DOTr Usec. for Finance Garry De Guzman, Office for Transportation Security (OTS) Administrator Usec. Raul Del Rosario, DOTr Chief of Staff and Asec. for Procurement and Project Implementation Giovanni Lopez, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippine (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco, and DOTr Asec for Aviation and Airports Jim Melo.

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