MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday hailed the construction of the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), the country’s first intermodal terminal, as he vowed to make life more comfortable for the riding public long complaining of the challenges in navigating the busy metropolis.
Duterte said the PITX will help ease traffic in Metro Manila and make commuting more bearable for Filipinos.
“As the first integrated and multi-modal terminal in the southwestern part of Metro Manila, PITX is a landmark project – a ‘landport’ that feels and functions like an airport,” Duterte said in a speech during PITX’s inauguration.
The PITX is one of three intermodal terminals that the government plans to build, the other two being the Taguig Integrated Terminal Exchange and the North Integrated Terminal Exchange in Bulacan.
The landmark “landport,” built by a consortium led by Megawide Construction Corp., “will offer passengers a safer, state-of-the-art, and convenient terminal experience that will hopefully contribute in addressing traffic congestion in Metro Manila,” Duterte said.
The President added, the PITX will help ease traffic by limiting provincial buses plying Metro Manila roads, specifically along Roxas Boulevard and the EDSA-Taft area.
It will also serve as a transfer point between the provincial buses from Cavite, western Batangas, and other in-city modes of transportation.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, meanwhile, said the construction of the “world-class” transportation hub within the first half of the Duterte administration demonstrates the government’s resolve to provide “comfortable life” to Filipinos.
“This is the first landport in the republic where... comfortability, safety and security of passenger are paramount,” Tugade said.
“Never before has this been done in the republic, so world-class that there are facilities that are beneficial to senior citizens like and to persons with disabilities.”
The landport can accommodate 200,000 passengers daily, according to Megawide, which has a 35-year concession of the facility.
The PITX has floor-to-ceiling glass windows, waiting areas similar to airports, tap-and-go turnstiles, bus bays and electronic ticketing counters. It will have dedicated rooms for prayer, breastfeeding, and showers.
It also includes 4 office towers, each with 17,900 square meters of net leasable space. The first tower will open in the first half of 2019, Megawide said.
Tugade said the government saved money by renegotiating the terms of the contract with Megawide. He said the government was supposed to give Megawide P100 million for 35 years as “grantor’s fee,” but he was able to have this amount waived.
Meanwhile, as the safety of public utility vehicles remained a concern, Duterte ordered the transportation department and Megawide-led consortium to “to ensure all transport vehicles that will be using the PITX are roadworthy and complies with our environmental laws and [have] proper documentation as well.”
“Together, let us work hard to lay down the physical foundations of a more progressive and prosperous nation so that our countrymen will enjoy at the very least not a rich life, not even a bar lower than that, but at least… a comfortable life,” Duterte said.