19 June 2021
TUGADE: DUTERTE ADMIN REALIZES ‘GOLDEN AGE OF INFRASTRUCTURE’ WITH NUMEROUS FINISHED DEV’T PROJECTS
MAKATI CITY – Despite challenges and other setbacks over the last five years, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) continues to help the Duterte Administration realize its goal of ushering the country into its ‘GOLDEN AGE OF INFRASTRUCTURE’ with completed and ongoing transport projects and initiatives, DOTr Secretary Art Tugade said.
“Kung titingnan mo at ikukumpara mo ‘yung ginawa ng Duterte administration sa apat na taon, tsaka ‘yung konstruksyon at imprastruktura na ginawa, figure for figure, performance for performance, accomplishments for accomplishments, siguro naman because of the improvement, puwedeng masasabi na nalagay na sa pedestal ng performance ng ating Pangulo, ng Duterte administration ‘yung paggawa patungo sa tinatawag na ‘GOLDEN AGE OF INFRASTRUCTURE,’ said Secretary Tugade during the Progress Update on the Build, Build, Build briefing yesterday, 18 June 2021.
Secretary Tugade joined the rest of the Build, Build, Build Infrastructure team, including Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Secretary Vince Dizon and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar, to give the latest developments on the program.
For transport infrastructure projects, Sec. Tugade pointed out that even the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop the DOTr and its attached agencies from completing and continuing the infrastructures and initiatives that were started at the start of the Duterte administration.
“Madali ‘hong sumuko kami at sabihing give-up na ako may pandemya naman. Hindi po ‘yan ang Kagawaran ng Transportasyon. Hindi po ganyan ang Administrasyong Duterte. Sumige at tuloy-tuloy tayo na gawin ang mga imprastraktura notwithstanding and despite the existence of pandemya at Covid,” Tugade said.
During the press briefing near the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge in Makati City, Secretary Tugade said that with a limited time, the DOTr has addressed long-standing issues since taking over in 2016. These include the “laglag-bala” modus in Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), millions of backlog in driver’s licenses, and lack of initiatives to address EDSA traffic, the derailment and maintenance issues of the MRT-3, among others.
Aviation and Airports
Secretary Tugade said the DOTr, through the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), has completed 212 airport projects while 102 more are ongoing. He also mentioned notable completed airport projects such as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Bohol-Panglao International Airport, and the new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) of the Clark International Airport, which will be inaugurated next month.
The transportation chief also revealed that several airport projects are also set to be inaugurated this year. These are the Catarman Airport, Butuan Aiport, Busuanga Airport, Zamboanga Airport, Siquijor Airport, General Santos Airport, and the Bicol International Airport.
In the Railway Sector, the Transportation Secretary announced that the new Marikina and Antipolo Stations of the LRT-2 East Extension project will start operations on 22 June 2021. Meanwhile, Tugade also reported that the Common Station, which will interconnect the LRT-1, MRT-3, MRT-7, and the Metro Manila Subway, will be completed this year.
Apart from these, the DOTr is also working on other railway projects, such as the Metro Manila Subway, MRT-7, North-South Commuter Railway Project, LRT-1 Cavite Extension, and Subic-Clark Railway Project.
In the Maritime sector, Secretary Tugade reported that the DOTr, together with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), has completed 446 seaport projects since 2016 and is currently working on 117 more.
Tugade highlighted the completion of the country’s biggest passenger terminal building (PTB) in the Port of Cagayan de Oro that can now accommodate 3,000 passengers daily. Moreover, he also mentioned that social tourism ports in Palawan made the province easily accessible for nearby regions and neighboring countries.
Sec. Tugade also reported on the success of the EDSA Busway system and the promotion of active transportation, with the planned opening of new roads, pedestrian facilities, and 560 kilometers of protected bike lanes in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Cebu.
Secretary Tugade noted the construction of the EDSA Busway Bridge and Concourse and the establishment of the EDSA Greenways Project, to complement the operations of the EDSA Carousel.
Sec. Tugade also reported on the COVID-19 efforts of the DOTR such as the establishment of isolation facilities, One-Stop-Shops in NAIA terminals, and crew change hubs. He added the Department’s whopping contribution to the National Treasury through the dividends and remittance of the CAAP, PPA, and MIAA, which collectively amounted to more than P50 billion over the past five (5) years.
“We have shown you in the limited time that we have, hindi lang kami pang transportasyon, katulong at katuwang din kami in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tugade said.
“Hiling ko, malapit na ‘ho ang oras namin sa termino ni Presidente Duterte. Hahabol ‘ho kami ng mga gawain. Pakiusap, bigyan ninyo kami ng tiwala, pabaunan ninyo kami ng dasal. ‘Pag kami nag-succeed, kayo din ay magiging happy. Kung kami ay nag-succeed at kayo ay naging happy, everybody happy,” Tugade expressed.
26 May 2021
*DOTr PUSHES FOR EFFICIENT ROAD MASS TRANSPORT SYSTEMS AS PH ENTERS ‘NEW NORMAL’*
MANILA – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is continuing to push for reliable and efficient public road transportation systems as the country transitions to a “new normal” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a virtual public transport forum today, 26 May 2021, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Steven Pastor, was one of the mobility champions/reactors for a research presentation titled “Move As One’s Biyahenihan Mobility Solutions Package and National Budget Proposal for 2022 Onwards” by the Move As One Coalition Secretariat. Asec. Pastor represented Transport Secretary Art Tugade in the forum.
During the forum’s “Mobility Champions Respond” segment, Asec. Pastor revealed that under the leadership of Sec. Art Tugade, the DOTr is pushing for reforms and improvements in the country’s road transportation system.
“Kaisa n’yo po kami, sa hanay ng Kagawaran ng Transportasyon, sa hangaring mabigyan ng komportable, ligtas, maasahan, accessible, environmentally-sound, at higit sa lahat, inclusive na public transportation system para sa ating mga kababayan,” Asec. Pastor said.
During the forum, Asec. Pastor mentioned that included in the innovative mass transport projects being pushed by the DOTr is the EDSA Busway which is a free bus rapid transit system on EDSA. He said that through the EDSA Busway, the movement of people is being prioritized as there is now a dedicated median lane for the use of public utility buses. With the EDSA Busway, travel time by bus for commuters from Monumento to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) and vice versa was slashed to about an hour from the previous three hours.
“Sa Busway sobrang dami talaga nating pasahero gawa ng libre ang sakay dito ngayon as mandated by Secretary Tugade upang magkaroon ng mabilis na access ang ating mga kababayan at makakamenos sa pang-araw-araw na gastos nila,” Pastor said.
Complementing the EDSA Busway is the EDSA Busway Concourse which will provide commuters, especially the elderly, persons with disabilities (PWD), and pregnant women with transport hubs to safely board and get off vehicles; and safe walkways to cross EDSA from one side to the other. The EDSA Busway Concourse will be located at the SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, and at the SM Mega Mall.
Pastor added that the DOTr has also provided cyclists with dedicated bicycle lanes in partnership with other government agencies and the private sector. The DOTr is set to complete 535 kilometers of bike lanes in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao in June.
The DOTr, he said, also continues to promote active transport such as cycling with the launch of a Bike Manual. The manual aims to educate cyclists, motorists, pedestrians, and other road users about road safety, road courtesy, road sharing, and road etiquette.
*Free Ride for healthcare workers, APORs*
Pastor also mentioned the DOTr Free Ride Program for health care workers and Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs). Since the start of the pandemic last 18 March 2020, the “Libreng Sakay” program of the DOTr has served 2.3 million person-trips for healthcare workers and 5.5 million person-trips for APORs. Pastor added that the DOTr Free Ride initiative also complements the Service Contracting Program that now benefits drivers, operators, and other workers in the transport sector who were displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
*DOTr actions to further improve mobility*
Meanwhile, Asec. Pastor stressed that the DOTr has already acted on some of the mobility suggestions mentioned in research papers presented during the forum. Among these is the expansion of the bike lane network which was proposed as part of the DOTr’s budget request for 2022. Additionally, the DOTr has proposed a higher budget for the Service Contracting Program to accommodate more routes, PUV drivers, and operators nationwide.
Asec. Pastor also made mention of the DOTr’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) which aims to remove unsafe public utility vehicles (PUVs) from the streets and replace these with modern, safe, and environment-friendly ones for the convenience of commuters. Meanwhile, he added that under the PUMVP, PUVs are also no longer allowed to use streets as terminals. To help local government units set up off-street PUV terminals in their respective areas, the DOTr he said, is providing guidance in the planning, design, funding, and construction of these transportation terminals.
*Bus Rapid Transit lines*
In line with prioritizing the efficient movement of PUVs, Pastor also reported that several bus rapid transit (BRT) lines are currently in various stages of implementation.
While the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) is now in its engineering design state, the DOTr, through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), has started the operations of the Cebu Interim Bus System (CIBUS) which now runs along the planned BRT route. The plan for the overall Cebu Transportation system, including the BRT, is being supported by a technical grant approved by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).
Asec. Pastor also mentioned the Davao High Priority Bus System (HPBS) which aims to provide Davao City with an attractive, efficient, and safe public transport system, supporting local economic growth and residents’ mobility.
*Effect of COVID-19*
Concluding his presentation, Asec. Pastor recognized the effects of COVID-19 on the country’s road transportation system. As a transition to the new normal, he underscored the need for reliable and efficient transport infrastructures as the public depends on mass transportation.
“Rest assured that the research papers and the corresponding budget recommendations shall be carefully evaluated by the Department. Partnerships with the LGUs will also be considered for a more efficient implementation of programs and projects,” Asec. Pastor said.