14 May 2021


ALBAY – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Art Tugade assured that the construction works of the Bicol International Airport will be completed within the year while the partial operability segment of the PNR Bicol is targeted up to the second quarter of 2022.

To ensure that the big-ticket infrastructure projects in the region remain on track, Secretary Tugade visited Albay yesterday, 13 May 2021, to lead a series of inspections with other DOTr and local government officials.

*BIA Inspection*

First stop of the scheduled inspections is the much-awaited Bicol International Airport (BIA), of which construction works are 24/7 since last year on the directive of Secretary Tugade. The transportation chief said the DOTr and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), under Director General Jim Sydiongco, will be pushing for the nonstop construction works at the airport to meet its target completion date within the year.

“Hangarin ko ho na matapos ang konstruksyon, at maging operational ang Bicol International Airport bago matapos ang taong ito,” Secretary Tugade said.

The BIA, known as the “Most Scenic Gateway” of the country, is now at 82.22% overall progress rate after 13 years of delay. Once operational, it is expected to serve a total of two (2) million passengers every year.

“Matagal na panahon na pong hinintay ng sambayanan, lalo’t higit ng mga Bicolano, ang pagtatapos nitong Bicol International Airport. Bago pa tayo dumating, mayroon nang tatlong groundbreaking ang nagawa rito. Ngayon ho, malapit nang matapos ang aktwal na konstruksyon nito,” Secretary Tugade added.

Moreover, in terms of job generation, 755 jobs were created during the airport’s construction phase while 1,100 more indirect jobs await locals once the airport becomes operational.

“Dahil sa tuloy-tuloy na trabaho, inaasahan natin na makapagbibigay ang proyektong ito ng kabuhayan sa ating mga kababayang Bicolano,” Secretary Tugade said.

At present, the Package 2A of the BIA, which covers the construction of landside facilities and other buildings, is 94.40% complete, and is targeted to be completed this month.

Meanwhile, Package 2B, covering the construction of the PTB and runway extension, as well as the construction of the taxiway, drainage, and other site development works, is 68.14% complete, and is slated to be completed by June this year.

In addition, ongoing works for the embankment, and construction of access road and slope protection is now at 52.50% and is being eyed for completion this coming October.

*PNR Bicol inspection*

Secretary Tugade and team DOTr also inspected the alignment and the future location of the depot station of the PNR Bicol or the PNR South Long-Haul Project in Legazpi City, Albay.

The DOTr and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) eye the partial operations of the San Pablo, Candelaria, Lucena, and Pagbilao segments between the first and second quarter of next year. Meanwhile, the full operation of the PNR Bicol Project is slated for the third quarter of 2025.

To recall, the DOTr signed a contract for the Project Management Consultant of the PNR Bicol in 2018. Moreover, the basic detailed design for the Civil Works Package 1 (Banlic, Laguna to Daraga, Albay) is already finished.

The DOTr and the PNR also target to publish within May and to award the Civil Works Contract Package 1 in the third quarter of this year.

Additionally, the on-site activities are ongoing for the PNR Bicol project, including a Land Parcellary Survey, and the preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment.

“Inaasahan po natin na makapag-award po tayo ng unang contractor itong 3rd quarter ng 2021. Ongoing na rin po ang pag-aacquire natin ng mga lupa,” said DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan.

About 560-kilometers long, the PNR Bicol railway line runs from Sucat, Parañaque in Metro Manila to Matnog in Sorsogon, and from Calamba to Batangas. Once operational, PNR Bicol is expected to reduce travel time between Manila and Legazpi from 14-18 hours to just 6 hours with regular commuter trains and 4.5 hours with express trains.

Around 20,000 jobs were generated during the construction phase of the rail project and is expected to generate 10,000 more local jobs once it becomes operational.

*Turnover of Pantao Port from PPA to Albay LGU*

Meanwhile, during the Bicol visit, Secretary Tugade, with Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago, also committed the turnover of the administration and operation of the Pantao Port in Libon to the Provincial Government of Albay under Governor Al Francis Bichara effective June 1 this year.

Secretary Tugade assured that the transfer of the Pantao Port from the PPA to the Albay LGU was the subject of a thorough study.

“Matagal na hong mayroong exchange of communications, negotiations, at mga dayalogo d’yan. ‘Yung dayalogo kanina nagbigay ng punto pinal sa matagal nang pinag-uusapan,” the DOTr Secretary explained.

“Sa pamamagitan po ng paglilipat ng administrasyon at operasyon ng Pantao Port ay inaasahan po natin na ito ay mas mapapakinabangan ng Lalawigan ng Albay dahil ito po ay magagamit doon sa mismong pangangailangan ng probinsya para po mapaunlad rin ang ekonomiya at komersyo ‘di lamang sa Libon kundi sa buong Albay,” GM Santiago said.


12 May 2021


IMUS CITY, CAVITE – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade brought good news to Caviteños on the significant transport initiatives in the province during the inauguration of the new District Office of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Imus City today, 12 May 2021.

In his message, Secretary Tugade assured that he will push for the implementation of the DOTr Free Ride Service Program for Health Workers, Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs), and other essential workers in Cavite. The “Libreng Sakay” program of the DOTr provides free transportation to essential workers, frontliners and APORs.

“Magkakaroon ho ng libreng sakay para sa mga frontliners, APORs at essential workers at ipagtutulakan ko ‘yan dito sa Cavite,” Sec. Tugade stressed.

Secretary Tugade also announced that despite the pandemic, the DOTr is continuing to complete vital infrastructure projects in Cavite, including the much-anticipated LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project.

“Ipagtutulakan ko na matapos ang mga istraktura at istasyon ng partial operability section ng LRT-1 Cavite Extension bago matapos ang termino ng Pangulo,” Secretary Tugade said.

Secretary Tugade also assured that there will be no fare hikes under his term as he appealed to drivers of public utility vehicles to help fellow Filipinos during the pandemic by not pushing for fare hikes.

“Pakiusap ko lang mamang tsuper, mamang driver, bus operator wala ho akong patakaran na mag-aallow na i-increase n’yo ‘yung pamasahe because during my term, no increases in fare rates. ‘Wag nyong gawin ‘yan,” Secretary Tugade said.  

Meanwhile, local government officials lauded Secretary Tugade for his strong commitment to Caviteños as they reminded the personnel  of the Imus LTO office to serve the public well.

“Ito po ay proyekto na kung saan nga po ay walang ginastos ang gobyerno, ang pakiusap lang ho ay mapagsilbihan nang maayos ang ating mga kababayan. Sana po ay hindi sila maghintay nang matagal at ibigay po natin ang tamang serbisyo,” said Cavite 3rd District Representative Alex Advincula, whose efforts made the realization of the LTO Imus DO possible.

“Kami pong mga taga-Imus ay very thankful sa inyo Secretary, sa efforts ng Advincula family, sa efforts ng LTO. This will be a long way to public service,” Cavite Governor Juanito Victor Remulla said.

The new Imus LTO Office, which was funded and constructed by the family of Congressman Advincula is a two-storey facility complete with parking spaces and impounding areas.     

According to LTO R4A Regional Director Noreen San Luis-Lutey, the LTO Imus District Office started its operation on 2 August 2018 at the old building vacated by LTO Bacoor in Palico in Imus, Cavite. It was later transferred to the new location due to the increasing demand and growing number of clients in the area.

“Today we have realized our collective aspiration. We have inaugurated LTO Imus, which is the most beautiful and ultra modern not only in CALABARZON but in the entire country,” the LTO RD said.

The DOTr continues to upgrade and build new LTO offices nationwide to provide better service to the public. Since Secretary Tugade assumed office in 2016, the DOTr added 132 LTO Extension Offices, District Offices, Licensing Centers, and Driver’s Licence Renewal Offices, including the new office in Imus, Cavite.

For his part, LTO Chief Asec. Edgar Galvante said that the construction of the new office is proof of the good relation between the LTO and the local government of Cavite.

“Sana po ang magandang gusali natin ay tumbasan ninyo ng maganda at maayos na serbisyo,” Galvante added.

In his message to the personnel of the new LTO office, Secretary Tugade also underscored the importance of upholding values, cultures and ways of doing things in the performance of their duties.

“Hindi ho ba dapat lang na yung processing time ay iklian yan nang sa ganon ang oras ay hindi naaaksaya sa pag aantay, ang oras ay nagagawa sa tamang paglilingkod at tamang pamamaraan. Kaya nga sabi ng Pangulo, i-reduce niyo ang processing time, kung anong nagagawa ng 1 month gawin ninyong 15 days, ‘yung nagagawa ng 15 days gawin ninyong 1 week, ‘yung nagagawa ng 1 week gawin ninyong 3 araw, ‘yung nagagawa ng 3 araw gawin niyo sa isang araw nang sa ganon sasabihin ng ating mga kababayan na kombinyente ang mag-transact with LTO,” Secretary Tugade said.

He also warned the LTO personnel to stay clear of corruption and not engage with fixers.

Dapat walang korapsyon. Walang fixer sa labas. At p^t@ng in@, walang fixer sa loob. Dapat walang bahid ng kurapsyon at alinlangan ang mga tao kung tayo ay nagseserbisyo. Dapat ang persepsyon sa mga taong nagtatrabaho dito malinis ang lahat,” Secretary Tugade stressed.

Secretary Tugade ended his message with a reminder for everyone to strictly observe basic health and safety protocols amid the pandemic. He also urged LTO personnel to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Tayo ho ay pandemya ngayon, wag nating kakalimutan yung mga basic health protocols, face shield, face mask, washing of hands, social distancing. At kung hahangarin ho natin ang isang magandang new normal, kung gugustuhin natin na magkaroon ng kaaya-aya at magadang kinabukasan na kung saan lahat nag-eenjoy, kailangan ang vaccination. Sama-sama tayo sa bakuna para sa ganon mapadali ang pagpuksa sa kalabang COVID-19,” Secretary Tugade said.


18 May 2021


PARAÑAQUE CITY– As proof of the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr’s) commitment to upholding aviation safety in the country, Secretary Art Tugade will lead the inauguration of the country’s first 3D Aerodrome Tower Simulator at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Training Center in Parañaque City.

The Supply, Installation, and Testing Aerodrome Tower Simulator, the first of its kind in the Philippines, was completed in March 2021 and will be formally inaugurated tomorrow, 19 May 2021.


The Aerodrome Tower Simulator features a 315-degree horizontal field of view visual simulator designed to aid traffic controllers in training, testing, and maintaining proficiency in handling aerodrome control operations without risking property or lives. The use of the simulator mitigates certain risks with the ability to practice handling flight emergencies and other aviation situations without the threat of any real danger.

Six (6) airport scenario settings are installed in the simulator program. These airport scenario settings can be used to test the air traffic controller’s proficiency in the airports of Manila, Clark, Mactan, Plaridel, Davao, and in a generic single-runway airport.

Designed to artificially recreate the control tower environment, the tower simulator is also cost-efficient as it offers lower expenses than conducting training in actual air traffic control conditions.

Modern Aviation Safety Training

Moreover, with the use of this state-of-the-art facility, the training of aviation personnel has now become modernized. The aerodrome simulator will eliminate the obsolete training methods used in the aerodrome laboratory training module of the Civil Aviation Training Center (CATC), such as the use of miniature model airplanes that ATC instructors manipulate to simulate air traffic.

The duration of the overall aerodrome training module for the Comprehensive Air Traffic Service usually takes six (6) weeks with two (2) weeks allocated for the lecture phase and four (4) weeks for the laboratory phase.

Instructional methods will be enhanced and shall give ATC trainees the appropriate impression of the ATC environment by recreating real-time visual scenarios from a control tower.

The facility can be used by full-fledged ATC and ATC trainees, who can now experience the environment of an aerodrome control tower safely and efficiently.