P1B fund for airports readied

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    Convergence. The DOT’s partnership with DOTr paved the way for the construction of new airports such as the Bohol-Panglao International Airport.
    Convergence. The DOT’s partnership with DOTr paved the way for the construction of new airports such as the Bohol-Panglao International Airport.

    Some P1 billion funding is being readied to equip several airports in the country with night-rating capabilities.

    This is part of the strengthened tourism infrastructure convergence program of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

    DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade yesterday signed a memorandum of agreement titled “Institutionalized Leveraging of Infrastructure Program for Airport Development which synchronizes efforts to boost airport and route development programs.

    Puyat said funding amounting to P 1 billion is set for approval by the TIEZA in their next board meeting.

    Tugade said all commercially-operating airports in the Philippines have to be night-rated for safety and efficiency.

    “Tourism and connectivity will be closely linked in the next two decades, in the same way the convergence approach today enables mutually beneficial cooperation between the DOT with different agencies and the private sector. It is the sort of cooperation that will help ensure the success of one of our latest projects, the DOT’s Transforming Communities Towards Resilient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Tourism Program,” Puyat said.

    She added the convergence program leverages on the existing convergence between DOT and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for tourism roads, DPWH-DOTr for access roads to airports and partnerships with other agencies and the private sector.

    The convergence program is an implementation of Section 34 of RA9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009 and the National Tourism Development Program for 2016-2022.

    Puyat cited the agency’s partnership with DOTr and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines in facilitating the construction of new airports such as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and the Bohol-Panglao International Airport.

    She also cited the near completion of a new terminal at the Clark International Airport, just 30 minutes away from New Clark, Tarlac, the main site of the country’s triumphant hosting of the recent 30th Southeast Asian Games.

    In line with the Duterte administration’s Build, Build, Build Program and as part of the efforts to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Puyat said in the works is the construction of a new international airport in Daraga, Albay, as well as the expansion plans for Davao, Iloilo, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa and Laguindingan international airports.