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Clark International Airport expansion project to finish in 2020—DOTr

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Construction site of the PHP 12-billion Clark International Airport’s newest terminal | Courtesy: DOTr

The expansion project for the Clark International Airport in Pampanga is already 53 percent complete. It will be completed in 2020, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

The DOTr inspected the construction site on Wednesday (March 27) to check the status of the project. It will expand Clark International Airport by 100,000 square meters.

Once construction is finished in 2020, the airport can accommodate around 80 million passengers compared to the current capacity of 4 million passengers.

According to DOTr secretary Arthur Tugade, this is one of the solutions to lessen congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“If you have facility to an existing facility theoretically you are addressing the congestion how will it address? Of course you are now giving the travelling public the option NAIA or Clark? Clark becomes a very valid option because in 2 1/2 years you will see the train you will see the connections with SCTEX,” he said.

Tugade adds, this will also generate jobs for residents of Central Luzon.

The transportation department will also begin the construction of the second runway of the airport. This is to accommodate more flights and avoid delays such as the incident with Xiamen Air.

READ: Bad weather crash-lands Chinese plane at NAIA, no injuries reported

The president of Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) Jaime Melo said the runway will be around 2 kilometers (km) away from the first runway. He said it will be an independent simultaneous runway

“That means pwede pong lumapag ang aircraft sabay na sabay any end or maski magkabilang dulo but not on the same runway of course, (That means two aircraft can land at the same time, at any end but not on the same runway of course)” Melo adds.

The DOTr targets to finish the construction before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends.

The Clark International Airport is the second largest airport in the country.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Joan Nano)

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DOTr, Japanese firms sign contract for PNR Tutuban-Malolos project

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

A miniature model of the train that will be used in the Tutuban-Malolos Railway.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), Japan Transport Engineering Company (J-TREC) and the Sumitomo Corporation on Tuesday (July 16) officially signed a P12.1-billion supply contract for the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Tutuban-Malolos project.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and Sumitomo Corporation’s Social Infrastructure Business Division General Manager Hiroshi Karashima signed the contract for Package 3, which pertains to the manufacture and delivery of rolling stock for the 37.6-kilometer mass transit project.

The project is funded by an Official Development Assistance from the Government of Japan, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The elevated mass railway system, which is the initial phase of the PNR Metro Manila to Clark railway system, will run from Tutuban station in Manila to Malolos City in Bulacan.

Under the contract, Sumitomo and J-TREC are expected to make and deliver a rolling stock fleet with a total of 104 train cars. The DOTr said the first delivery of trains and the project’s partial operation are expected by 2021.

“This is the reason why we are all here today—to sign an agreement where the trains you see, the prototype you see, will come into fruition by 2021. The first agenda is to come to an agreement and principle that we will strive to work together so that we will realize the Tutuban to Malolos route by the end of 2021,” Tugade said in a statement.

The DOTr said the PNR Tutuban to Malolos project will have 10 stations: Tutuban, Solis, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Meycauayan, Marilao, Bocaue, Balagtas, Guiguinto, and Malolos.

The department said the construction of these stations were indicated in contract packages 1 and 2 which were signed earlier this year. The project broke ground on February 2019.

Once PNR Clark Phase 1 becomes operational by the end of 2021, the DOTr expects travel time from Manila to Bulacan to be reduced to just 35 minutes from the current one hour and 30 minutes.

The project, which is a railway segment of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), is expected to serve 300,000 passengers daily.

The PNR Clark Phase 1 (Tutuban to Malolos) will be integrated with the PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos to Clark) and the PNR South Commuter (Manila to Calamba, Laguna).

The DOTr said these projects form part of the 147-kilometer mass transportation railway connecting Clark in Pampanga, Metro Manila, and Calamba in Laguna.

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Philippines’ biggest port passenger terminal opens in CDO

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced that the country’s biggest passenger terminal has been opened at the Port of Cagayan de Oro on Monday (July 15).

The DOTr said the building, which is located within the Passenger Terminal Complex of the port, is a massive two-story structure with a total floor area of 5,597 square meters.  

The new terminal has a capacity of 3,000 passengers, triple its previous capacity.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, led the inauguration of the new passenger terminal building, together with Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Manager Jay Santiago and PPA Port Manager for Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro, Isidro Butaslac Jr.

“I have inaugurated many terminals during our term, and the truth is, this is the biggest passenger terminal building in the Republic of the Philippines. Ito ‘hong proyektong ito ay magbibigay tibay sa kagustuhan ng ating Pangulo na magkaroon ng mobility and connectivity sa Visayas at Mindanao (this project will fulfill the President’s wish of achieving mobility and connectivity in the Visayas and Mindanao),” Tugade said in a statement.

“With this terminal, you will have a convergence of people for mobility that will lead to economic growth,” he added.

The PTB features brand new facilities that are expected to enhance the safety and security of the riding public. It includes security checkpoints with x-ray scanners for baggage, body scanners, CCTVs, passenger boarding stations, collector’s booth, public assistance desk, designated green areas, storage room, and offices for passenger-related agencies such as quarantine, tourist police, and the Coast Guard, the DOTr said.

It also features amenities such as a play area for children, child care station, ecumenical prayer rooms, drinking fountains, toilet facilities, urgent medical care room, food stalls, pasalubong centers, and a special boarding lane for senior citizens, PWDs, pregnant women, and women traveling with children below two years old.

Aside from the new passenger terminal building, also inaugurated on Monday were the Port of Cagayan de Oro’s new electronic gate complex and the Opol Port in Misamis Oriental.

Meanwhile, the DOTr also announced that the terminal fee exemption for students has started on Monday in all PPA-owned and operated ports nationwide. Senior citizens, PWDs, and active personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are also exempted from paying terminal fees.

READ: Students to get free train rides, airport and seaport terminal fees – DOTr

The department earlier said that students, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and selected uniform personnel in active service would get free rides as part of the government’s efforts to provide Filipinos comfortable lives.

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DOTr’s Tugade meets with Tolentino on emergency powers bid vs PH traffic woes

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade on Wednesday met with Senator Francis Tolentino to discuss plans on refiling an emergency powers bill to solve the country’s traffic woes, particularly in Metro Manila.

Tugade said he met with Tolentino to tackle the measure that has been pending in both chambers of Congress for more than two years.

The transportation chief said he will do his best to convince lawmakers to pass the bill, which he sees as a vital solution to the country’s perennial problem on traffic.

“‘Wag po nating pabaunan ng duda ‘yung deliberasyon, pababaunan ko yan ng kaliwanagan sa pag-uusap. Naniniwala ako na kung ang mga mag-uusap ay may kaliwanagan, magkakaroon ng kooperasyon, pwede po nating mapadali ito,” he told reporters in an interview.

(Let us not cast doubt on the deliberation, I will shed light on its importance during discussion. I believe than when it is tackled by people who understand it, there will be cooperation. This can be fast-tracked.)

Tolentino earlier said he will push for the emergency powers bid once the incoming 18th Congress convenes on July 22.

The lawmaker said his version of the bill focuses on strengthening the mandate of concerned agencies and local government units to address the traffic crisis.

“Nalagyan natin ng ibang detalye na wala dati, for instance ‘yung working hours, ‘yung adjustment ng oras ng pagpasok at yung role ng mga local government units,” he said.

(We have placed there details that are not present in the previous bill, for instance the working hours, adjustment of working hours and the role of local government units.)

The bill seeking to ease the worsening traffic situation was first filed after Duterte said in his 2016 State of the Nation Address that traffic problems should be legitimately addressed if Congress could accord him emergency powers.

He eventually gave up on his plan after some lawmakers said that the emergency powers might be used for corruption.

Under the proposed Traffic Crisis Act, previously filed in the 17th Congress, the Transportation Secretary will be designated as Traffic Chief with power of control and supervision over land transportation agencies. He will also have the authority to harmonize and enforce all traffic rules and regulations to implement a unified traffic system throughout each of the metropolitan areas and implement programs that will have significant impact on addressing the traffic crisis.

The bill was approved on third and final reading of the House of Representatives while its Senate version reached the plenary but was not approved until the 17th Congress adjourned.

Although there is a need to resolve the worsening traffic woes in the country, the DOTr said that once the bill is refiled, they will not ask the president to certify it as urgent.

“Kung magkasundo po kami sa mga datos at detalye, hindi po ba mas magandang pumunta kami kay pangulo na handa na yung detalye kaysa blanket na hihingin na wala pang detalye?  Hindi ho ba mas magandang proseso yung ganun?” he said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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