DBM allots P2.5 billion for airport modernization

Some P2.5 billion has been allocated for the development of various airports across the country in support of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s goal of improving transportation infrastructure in the country, the Department of Budget and Management said on Thursday.

As provided in the National Expenditure Program for 2023, the DBM has increased the budget of the Department of Transportation by 120.4 percent from P75.8 billion in 2022 to P167.1 billion in 2023.

DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said aviation projects will receive a significant amount of budget for their modernization alongside big-ticket railway and road transport projects.

At least P2.48 billion has been allotted for the implementation of the Aviation Infrastructure Program, which includes the construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of various airports nationwide.

These locally-funded airport projects include the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Laoag International Airport, Tacloban Airport, Antique Airport and Bukidnon Airport.

Funds are likewise allotted for the rehabilitation and improvement of other transport infrastructure projects in the DoTr Aviation sector.

Direct employment

The DoTr expects to generate at least 80,000 direct employments for Filipinos from the six ongoing big-ticket projects in the transportation sector.

“All these projects will provide employment. For the rail sector, we are looking at 60,000 direct employment. For the other sectors, aviation and road, we are looking at least 10,000 to 20,000 direct employment,” Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said in a press statement on Thursday.

Bautista said the jobs will help spur economic resiliency and development.

The transportation chief vowed that at least six ongoing projects will be completed between 2025 to 2029, on top of implementing three major projects in the aviation sector — all aimed at improving the daily plight of Filipino commuters.

“The DoTr is prioritizing major projects in rail — right now, we have six important projects that are ongoing construction and we hope that we will be able to complete these between 2025 to 2029,” he said.

“There are three major airport projects that we will try to implement within the next six years. This is the Bulacan Airport. We are also looking at the Sangley Airport, and the third is the modernization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

This is a very important project as it will support the projects of the DoT and it will also allow us to give a better experience to travelers — both foreigners and Filipinos,” he added.

Bautista likewise noted that it will pursue Cebu Bus Rapid Transit and Davao Modernized BRT developments as part of the government’s plan to improve the country’s transportation system.

“We expect that all these projects will contribute to economic development, improve economic resilience, and contribute to growth in the economy,” he said.

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