Rehabilitation of ports under way

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    Despite the pandemic, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is on track to complete the rehabilitation and expansion of seaports and airports in Samar, Cebu, Aklan, Tacloban and Dumaguete by 2021.

    Arthur Tugade, transportation secretary, led over the weekend the inspection of seaports and airports particularly those that were in the path of the strong typhoons to make sure operations in these facilities will not be disrupted, and that these are safe for operators and passengers.

    The Calbayog airport in Samar was first inspected to check the progress of the construction of the new passenger terminal building (PTB) as well as the widening/expansion of its runway and apron. The project is set to be completed before yearend, according to DOTr.

    DOTr also met the contractor of the new Tacloban airport development project for a more comprehensive update on the project’s timeline and deliverables.

    During the meeting, Tugade directed the contractor to reduce the contract duration to build the new PTB from 540 days to 270 days by implementing a 24/7 work schedule.

    With this, Tacloban airport’s new PTB is expected to be operational by the third quarter of 2021, instead of the second quarter of 2022.

    DOTr also inspected the construction works at the Bantayan airport in Cebu. Tugade noted that the airport’s runway is now 100 percent complete, while the airport’s perimeter fence is about 75 percent complete.

    Tugade said the total project is now about 85 percent complete, with the last stages of concreting the 1.2-kilometer runway extension estimated to be finished by yearend.

    DOTr also visited the newly completed expansion project of the Dumaguete airport’s PTB, while the new Siquijor airport, new PTB, powerhouse and vehicular parking area were completed last October.

    Likewise, Tugade inspected the work progress at the Kalibo international airport such as the construction of a new apron, taxiway, PTB, vehicle parking area and the airport access road.

    This development project is expected to be completed by July 2021, with the PTB improvement project now 98 percent complete, and ready for operability before the end of this year.

    DOTr also visited the Tacloban port and Manguino-o port in Samar. The Manguino-o port was previously damaged by tropical storm Tisoy and is up for rehabilitation starting this month.

    Rehabilitation works will cover the construction of a continuous roll-on roll-off ramp and a new port operations building. Partial operability is slated before the end of 2021.