President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday welcomed the development projects at the Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport, hopeful that these improvements would help boost trade and tourism in Negros Oriental and nearby provinces.
“I hope this project would inspire us further to provide better services and opportunities for our people and harness the potential of trade and tourism as the catalyst for economic recovery, particularly in the provinces,” Duterte said in his speech during the airport projects’ inauguration in Barangay Boloc-Boloc, Sibulan, Negros Oriental.
He lauded the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and other partners who contributed to the completion of the project despite pandemic-related lockdowns.
“I’m happy that you have a good airport now and it was through the effort really of (DOTr Secretary) Arthur Tugade,” he said.
The President also assured the public that the national government remains committed to finishing all infrastructure projects during his administration with the least inconvenience to the public and with adherence to honesty and integrity.
“Corruption has no place here,” he added.
The PHP252 million rehabilitation projects at the Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport include the re-blocking of the apron, construction of two taxiways, expansion of the existing Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), runway asphalt overlay and shoulder grade correction, and expansion of the CAAP Administrative Building.
These development projects have increased the airport’s capability to accommodate heavier aircraft and expanded the terminal passenger’s capacity from 330 to 450.
The airport will serve the provinces of Negros Oriental and neighboring Siquijor Island and is expected to boost air mobility in the region.
New Port Operations Building
Duterte also hailed the newly constructed Port Operations Building (POB) at the Port of Dumaguete in Dumaguete City, which is expected to provide better and progressive port facilities and services across the country.
“This PHP114-million two-story facility, which includes the port integrated clearinghouse conducive to office spaces for (Philippine Ports Authority) Dumaguete employees, and the pre-departure area capable of accommodating another 500 passengers, is expected to raise over PHP13 million annually in passenger terminal fee collection,” he said in his speech.
He said the POB would allow the public to enjoy a spacious and comfortable pre-departure area.
The POB aims to address the need for proper monitoring of port arrivals and departures and will provide a new and modern PTB for those traveling to nearby islands.
Aside from having the capacity to serve an estimated 500 passengers, the POB also features the Port Integrated Clearing Office (PICO), a one-stop-shop intended to expedite the processing of entrance and departure clearances for domestic and foreign vessels and cargoes.
Housed within the facility are regulatory agencies and other offices, such as the Philippine Coast Guard and the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Animal Industry and Bureau of Plant Industry, for the convenience of transacting port users.
In the course of the program, Duterte led the unveiling of the POB marker, along with Tugade, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago.
Sea travel to and from the Dumaguete port includes trips to Siquijor, Cebu, Bohol, and even to nearby Mindanao.
Also joining the President during his trip Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, and CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco, among others.
Aside from Negros Oriental provincial government officials led by Governor Roel Degamo and some mayors and congressmen, Bohol Governor Arthur Yap and Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone were also present during the event at the sea port. (PNA)
Photo Credit: www.pcoo.gov.ph