MANILA - Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Thursday presented plans of upgrading existing infrastructures and building more airports and railways in the Philippines as they pitched President Rodrigo Duterte's economic programs to foreign investors during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Cambodia.
Tugade said that two airports--the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), and the Clark International Airport--are currently serving as primary gateways into and outside of the country.
"The plan is to develop the terminals at Clark International Airport knowing fully well that at present it has two state of the art runways," he said. "The target for the development of this terminal in Clark is 2 years to 2-and-a-half years."
Tugade said the airport will be complemented by a railway project connecting Metro Manila with Clark which hopefully would cut travel time to a maximum of 30 minutes.
As for NAIA, Tugade said the plan is to develop what is already there by improving the structure so that it can expand its capability to handle more moving passengers, and include technology to enhance the safety capability of the airport.
"But as we develop what is existing, we are not shutting the door to having other airports coming in within the purview of the requirements of the international regulatory offices," he said.
He disclosed that they are looking into two unsolicited proposals--one is putting up an airport with four runways in Bulacan and developing another in Sangley, originally an American base.
"The development of Sangley is holistic. It will not be developed only as an airport but also as a possible seaport," he said.
Tugade assured that while the government develops airports in primary metropolises, it will also be improving and putting up new ones in the provinces to further enhance mobility and connectivity with other provinces.
He added that more airports in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will be developed, such as in Davao, Iloilo and Laguindingan.
"There are also other airports that will also be put up at the north: the Laoag and Vigan airport," he said.
Meanwhile, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar announced that the department will be investing in resiliency programs deemed as a priority of the president.
“Being one of the countries that is prone to natural calamities, it is one of the priorities of the president to invest heavily in resiliency programs. Specifically in this year's budget, we are investing about a 3rd in our budget P150B, $3B in programs related to enhancing preparedness for natural disasters including retrofitting bridges, making sure that the roads, projects that were hit by natural disasters are repaired immediately,” he said.