By Emmie V. Abadilla
The government expects to complete a handful of infrastructure projects in 2018 with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) vowing to “continuously push for the development and faster completion of transport infrastructure projects”.
These projects include the Cavite Gateway Terminal, Southwest Intermodal Transport Exchange, New Bohol Airport-Panglao, Mactan-Cebu International Airport and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) 2 East Extension Project.
Since the current administration launched its Build-Build-Build (BBB) Program in November, 2016, the DOTr had been busy.
In April, the DOTr led the ground breaking of the Cavite Gateway Terminal, the country’s first barge terminal to be developed in a six-hectare property in Tanza. It is expected to reduce truck trips in Metro Manila by 140,000 trips annually while maximizing the use of the country’s nautical highways.
Several ports in the country are also being improved and modernized: Iloilo, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Basco, Bataraza, Calapan, Catagbacan, Dapitan, Larena, Legazpi, Makar, Matnog, Opol, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Tubigon, Iligan and Surigao.
In the railways sector, the LRT-1 Cavite Extension project was finally green lit for construction after years of delay. The current line will be extended from Baclaran to Niog in Bacoor, Cavite, serving around 300,000 riders per day from Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Cavite.
In the east, LRT-2 will also be extended from Santolan to Antipolo, reducing travel time from Recto to Masinag from 3 hours by jeep or bus to just 40 minutes.
Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade is likewise pushing for partial operability of the Metro Manila Subway system, which is set for construction in 2019 and targeted for full completion in 2025.
Pending since 2009, the construction of the Common Station has finally started following the ground breaking last September 29. It will provide a seamless intermodal connectivity between LRT Line 1, MRT3, MRT7, and the Metro Manila Subway. It is expected to service up to 478,000 riders per day by 2020.
Under airports and aviation, the new terminal at the Puerto Princesa International Airport was formally opened to the public last May 4. The terminal spans 13,000 sqm. with a 2,600-meter runway that can accommodate bigger aircraft and around 1.9 million passengers annually.
After 11 years of delay, the DOTr has also finally resumed construction of the Bicol International Airport in Albay.
Expansion and improvement projects in Bacolod (Silay) Airport, Davao International Airport, Iloilo Airport, and Laguindingan Airport are currently being undertaken. Runway lengthening and widening in Kalibo, Virac, Calbayog, Ozamiz and Cotabato have also begun.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is likewise fast-tracking rehabilitation and expansion work in eight airports – Naga, Tuguegarao, Cauayan, Dumaguete, Dipolog, Cotabato, Pagadian and Ozamiz – to make them capable for night-time flight operations.
The Communications Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM), a state-of-the-art and satellite-based air traffic management system will be fully operational by December 2017. This year, an additional 10 radars were established across the country, bringing the total to 13.
Tags: Cavite Extension project, Cavite Gateway Terminal, Department of Transportation, DOTR to finish 5 projects in 2018, East Extension Project, Light Rail Transit, Mactan Cebu International Airport, Metro Manila Subway, Southwest Intermodal Transport Exchange, transport infrastructure projects, Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade