Tugade pledges to implement all planned transport projects


Manila Bulletin

Projects of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will be implemented or at least started before the current administration’s term ends in 2022, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade told 9th Philippine Ports and Shipping Conference participants on February 23.

In his keynote speech, Tugade outlined DOTr’s plans and projects for the country’s road, rail, air, and maritime transportation sectors.

To ensure projects are completed, Tugade said DOTr has mandated everyone engaged in infrastructure construction to work 24 hours, with the additional cost offset by “the easy and immediate enjoyment of the infrastructure to be put in place.”

In addition, the transport chief said, DOTr is open to allowing multiple contractors per project. Each phase of a project will have a different contractor, and once all phases are completed, they can just be interconnected.

DOTr and its attached agencies also have an internal target of 80% absorptive capacity, higher than the mandated 72% by economic managers.

As part of the administration’s ambitious vision for a “Golden Age of Infrastructure,” Tugade said DOTr has a number of transportation infrastructure projects.

For roads, projects will not be limited to Metro Manila but extended to other parts of the country.

Tugade cited earlier plans to put up a railway between Manila and Clark and then extended to Subic, and the Mindanao Rail Express, that will connect different parts of the region.

In aviation, part of the improvement plan is to connect all 13 radars in the country. Once completed in November this year, the system will be replicated in the maritime sector.

Connecting ports is also a priority, as DOTr has plans of building and improving more ports and having more vessels, especially roll-on/roll-on (RoRo) ships, serve these ports.

Aside from domestic connectivity, Tugade mentioned the launch in April of the Davao-General Santos-Bitung (Indonesia) RoRo route, which is part of the ASEAN sub-region Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippine East ASEAN Growth Area.

If the new route is successful, Tugade said the same business model would be adopted to other routes connecting the Philippines with other ASEAN countries.

DOTr is also working on utilizing the China Maritime Silk Road to connect with other Asian countries.