Home » Ports/Terminals » Duterte highlights transport, infra projects for priority implementation

Projects that will improve connectivity and address transportation concerns, as well as those that seek to increase infrastructure spending, are among immediate programs in the Philippine government’s pipeline, according to President Rodrigo Duterte in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered July 24.

For water transportation, Duterte said 15 new roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) vessels will be deployed on major nautical routes to improve sea connectivity and spur development in the countryside.

He noted the opening last April of the ro-ro service connecting Davao and General Santos in the Philippines to Bitung, Indonesia, a project under the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). He said more ro-ro projects connecting these countries are being planned.

To address congestion at seaports, Duterte said in his SONA that the government will modernize the ports of Iloilo, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga.

On the landside, the Chief Executive said strategic roads and bridges will be completed, with some roads due for widening while others for improvement, all to address worsening traffic.

Duterte said the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and local government units of Metro Manila and other regional centers are directed to improve the flow of traffic and clear roads and thoroughfares of obstructions, including illegally parked vehicles on streets.

Airside, Duterte said new airports will be built, some of which with possible assistance from China.

The government is also accelerating the implementation of the Communications Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM), which Duterte said “will result in on-time arrivals and departures, better managed air traffic, reduced flight operational costs, and safer and more convenient travel experience.”

The CNS/ATM is a state-of-the-art computer and satellite-based system that will put the Philippines on a par with other countries in aircraft monitoring and control. The system features aircraft transponders that receive satellite signals and uses transponder transmissions to determine the precise location of aircraft in the sky.

The President, meanwhile, is asking Congress, specifically the Senate, to pass the government-proposed tax reform bill that is seen to help fund public infrastructure projects.

Duterte commended the Lower House for passing the first package of the bill on second reading. “I call on the Senate to support my tax reform in full and to pass it,” Duterte said.

Duterte said his administration will increase infrastructure spending from 5% of gross domestic product in 2017 to up to 7% by 2022. Under the Build, Build, Build program, the government will undertake projects worth up to P9 trillion.

Image courtesy of [name of the image creator] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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