Thursday, April 15, 2021

Inauguration of new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) of theTagbilaran Port in Bohol

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As a fulfillment of a promise, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago formally inaugurated today, 14 April 2021, the new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) of theTagbilaran Port in Bohol, which was heavily damaged by a strong earthquake way back in 2013.

The improvement, which involves the construction of a new state-of-the art second PTB of the Tagbilaran City’s main seaport is a vital infrastructure project aimed at providing locals and tourists with more comfortable and convenient sea travel.

The Passenger Terminal Building II is expected to greatly augment the passenger capacity of the port. From only 497 passenger capacity of its existing PTB, Tagbilaran Port can now handle 613 more passengers –almost doubling the port’s total passenger capacity to 1,110, with the completion of the second PTB.

“Nakita ko ang nangyari sa Tagbilaran dahil sa unos at earthquake. Nakita ko ang nangyayari sa ibang puerto at sabi ko: ‘Tapusin natin ang mga proyektong ito’. Nakakahiya at nakakaawa sa mga tao sa Bohol kung mananatili ang mga imprastrukturang ito na nasira, nabagyo at hindi nagagamit. Tatapusin namin ang mga proyekto sa Bohol before the end of the term of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” Secretary Tugade said.

The inauguration of the port’s new PTB, which was completed in October 2020, was led by Secretary Tugade and GM Santiago, with Bohol Governor Arthur Yap and other transportation and local officials in attendance.

“Yung mga pangako na ginawa ko, tinapos ko. ‘Yung mga pangako na gagawin namin ngayon, tatapusin ko ‘ho, promise. Ito ho ang pangako ni Pangulong Duterte para maipakita niya sa sambayanan, sa mga Boholano, kung anong klase at kung gaano kalalim ang pagmamahal niya sa mga taga-Bohol. Pakiusap lang ‘ho, kayo sa local government, pangalagaan ninyo at gamitin nang maayos itong mga proyekto, nang sa ganoon ay marami pa ang makikinabang at mahaba pang panahon na pakikinabangan ang mga proyektong ito. If we do the inauguration within this context, I assure you, we will come back in the future and say, noon sabi ko mission accomplished, ngayon sasabihin ko, we have delivered,” Tugade added.

For his part, GM Santiago introduced Secretary Tugade as a leader who has a genuine heart for the country and a leader who truly loves the people. He also described the Secretary as, “ART para sa Transportasyon, ART para sa Transpormasyon, at ART para sa Tao.”

Meanwhile, Bohol Governor Arthur Yap said that with the infrastructure projects being carried out under the term of President Duterte and Secretary Tugade, the province will be more progressive by achieving a diversified economy, especially amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

“With COVID-19, doon namin naramdaman kung gaano kalaki ang impact sa services sector. About 200,000 of our people ay nawalan po ng trabaho, tinamaan sila sa income nila. Nakita namin na walang diversity ‘yung economy namin. Kailangang ma-diversify ang economy namin at panahon na para magtayo ng infrastructure where we can expand,” Governor Yap said.

*Improved Maribojoc Port*

After the inauguration of the Tagbilaran Port’s new PTB, Secretary Tugade, GM Santiago, and other officials inspected another big-ticket infrastructure project – the Port of Maribojoc, also in Bohol.

The Maribojoc port is also one of the vital infrastructures in the province that was totally devastated by the 2013 Bohol earthquake. With works in full swing, the Maribojoc Port Improvement Project is almost complete with a 95.41% progress rate as of March 2021.

“This month tatapusin ko ang Maribojoc para maging cargo port. I assure you that Maribojoc Port will become operational, at the earliest, next month, at the latest on the first week of June. So, consider it done and accomplished,” Secretary Tugade assured.

The two port projects are an integral part of the "BUILD, BUILD, BUILD" infrastructure program of the Duterte administration, to complement the rising stature of Bohol as a major tourism destination and economic powerhouse. The Tagbilaran and Maribojoc Port projects are part of the 22 development projects of the DOTr in the province.

To date, *the DOTr and PPA have completed 15 seaport projects* in different parts of Bohol - Tagbilaran, Jagna, Tapal, Ubay, Catagbacan, Tubigon, Talibon, Inabanga, Baclayon, and Aguinning. Meanwhile, *6 more seaport projects are ongoing* in Maribojoc, Getafe, Buenavista, and Bien Unido.

To enhance air connectivity in the province, *the DOTr and the CAAP have completed and inaugurated* in 2018 the first eco-airport in the country, *the Bohol-Panglao International Airport.* The BPIA, which replaced the Tagbilaran Airport, can accommodate up to 2 million passengers annually and can cater to night-time flights.

*Reefer Vans Donated*

Moreover, to ensure food security and help the Agriculture sector amid the pandemic, Secretary Tugade turned over two Refrigerated Reefer Container Vans to the Provincial Government of Bohol.

Under the “Palamigan ng Bayan” program, the DOTr Maritime sector aims to provide mobile cold storage facilities for farmers and fisherfolks to preserve the quality of perishable goods, reduce wastage and fetch reasonable prices.

Secretary Tugade personally presented the cold storage facilities to Governor Yap, in the presence of other Bohol LGU officials, after the inauguration of the new Passenger Terminal Building of the Tagbilaran Port.

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