MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte ordered his Cabinet on Thursday to look for ways to decongest Manila's main airport, which is plagued by chronic delays.
The measures include building an alternative gateway to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the construction of a dedicated road from the capital to Clark International Airport in Pampanga province, Duterte said.
"The best way for the meantime is to open a road network that will be geared towards Pampanga and Clark," he said in a televised Cabinet meeting after he was sworn into office.
"I really don’t know if we can have money to build a new airport to Sangley, kung may ibang paapsok na may pera e sige, for the meantime we have to remedy the overcrowded skies of NAIA," he said.
Duterte was referring to Sangley Point in Cavite, where the former Aquino administration had planned to build a new international airport.
San Miguel Corp. had offered to build a new airport but the project failed to take off under Aquino.
The President also ordered his cabinet to shun priority treatment when flying to avoid adding to air traffic congestion.
Some flights, especially at night, risk getting delayed or cancelled if aircraft carrying government officials were to be given priority, Duterte told his first cabinet during their first meeting immediately after he was sworn into office.
“Anyone of us, kung bigyan tayo ng priority to take off pasalamat tayo, but we should follow everyone’s travail. Pila tayo,” he said.
“Ayoko magpaimportante ng ganyan. We should treat ourselves just like any other Filipino traveling,” he said.
Duterte said he would take “ordinary” flights when shuttling between Manila and Davao.