Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Development projects in General Santos will bring comfort and convenience to airport and seaport passengers

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General Santos City and the rest of Mindanao will benefit from the transportation initiatives in the aviation and maritime sectors as these will capitalize on the city’s resources, resulting in economic and employment opportunities for Filipinos, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade emphasized Monday, 22 November 2021. Secretary Tugade said the development projects in the General Santos Airport and in the Port of General Santos will also bring comfort and convenience to airport and seaport passengers. He made the statement during the inspection of airport and seaport development projects in General Santos City together with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

“In the quiet of our endeavors, we worked on the projects as quietly as we can. But in the quiet of our endeavors, nakaka-produce ‘ho tayo ng mga proyektong ganito,” Secretary Tugade said.

Joining President Duterte and Secretary Tugade during the inspection were Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Jay Santiago.

Once the development projects are complete, General Santos Airport will be the first airport in Mindanao to have cutting-edge and innovative contactless features similar to those found in the Clark International Airport in Pampanga. This will make airport services effortless, safe, and convenient for all users, said Secretary Tugade.

Secretary Tugade also announced that the airport, through Philippine Airlines (PAL), will start international operations to and from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia via the GenSan-Kuala Lumpur-GenSan route on 09 December 2021.

“Matagal na panahon na ‘yung estado ng GenSan as an international airport ay nabinbin at nasuspinde. Ngayon, dahilan sa pagbabago na inintroduce natin sa termino ng ating mahal na Pangulo —announcement: December 9 of this year, the Philippine Airlines has formally signified to us that they will again start here their international operation, GenSan - Kuala Lumpur – Gensan,” he said.

With the expanded passenger terminal building (PTB) of the General Santos Airport, Secretary Tugade said the gateway can now accommodate 2 (two) million passengers annually from its previous annual capacity of 800,000 passengers.

Meanwhile, the Soccsksargen Region’s main maritime gateway, the Port of General Santos or commonly known as Makar Wharf, can now accommodate at least 1,300 large ships for port calls every year after the wharf’s upgrade and expansion.

Included in the Makar Wharf’s development projects is its new Port Operations Building, which ensures not only efficient port operations, but also ship and cargo monitoring.

President Duterte commended Secretary Tugade and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the timely completion of the transport development projects in the province amid challenges posted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Indeed, it is another significant milestone under our Build, Build, Build Program that envisions to improve travel and mobility throughout the country as well as stimulate our economic activities. The initiative comes at a crucial time when General Santos City takes on the role as the gateway to Soccsksargen and the rest of Mindanao,” President Duterte said.

“Its completion will greatly boost our interconnectivity and revive the agro-industrial and eco-tourism prospects of Southern Mindanao,” he added.

General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera, for his part, expressed his gratitude to President Duterte’s Build, Build, Build Infrastructure Development Program as it will open an array of opportunities for General Santos City and the rest of the region.

“This opens a wide array of opportunities, not only as an improvement of our infrastructure facilities, but also an investment opportunity that will generate more economic activities for the city of General Santos, and a multiple expanded growth to the whole nation,” Mayor Rivera said.

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