President Rodrigo Duterte’s flagship program “Build, Build, Build” which targets better infrastructure for the nation is going into high gear into the administration’s third year as it intensifies its campaign promise of inclusive growth for everyone.
Aside from building roads and trains for nationwide connectivity, the Duterte administration is also setting its sights on providing better transportation nationwide — not just for the metropolitan Manila’s traffic decongestion but to also provide a sense of comfort especially to tourists visiting the country.
Duterte’s campaign promises are being fulfilled one step at a time.
As such, two big-ticket projects are in the works — an international seaport and an airport — as the government is set to support the increasing number of tourists coming to one of the country’s best vacation destinations — Siargao Island.
The international seaport is expected to be completed in 2020 and is seen to accommodate cruise ships and bigger roll-on/roll-off (RORO) vessels that will increase the island’s connectivity to Manila and other neighboring towns and provinces.
As for the airport, the development of the proposed Siargao International Airport is still waiting for the budget to be released — estimated at P15 billion and is expected to be completed by 2022 once it gets the green light.
Siargao Island has been welcoming a steady increase of tourist arrivals over the years. A significant spike of tourist arrivals is expected this year after the vacation island was named the best island in Asia by Condé Nast (CN) Traveler in October 2018.
CN Traveler said Siargao emerged as the top choice of its readers in Asia in the 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards. It was followed by Boracay and Palawan in the ranking.
As we see it, the Duterte administration is really keen on giving the nation and its millions of visitors a good thing to look forward to. We have already seen the administration’s solid political will to make a significant impact to improve lives of Filipinos in each turn.
We laud the government’s aim to put solid investments in these kinds of infrastructure programs and its vision that acknowledges the fact that these programs are crucial to achieving sustainable development and empowering communities in the country.
Completing the said infrastructure projects provides the people — Filipinos and tourists alike — a more enjoyable and memorable experience in their journey for as what millennials call it, ‘travel goals.’
It also falls within the guidelines of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG) — of which the Philippines is a media partner through the country’s broadsheet the Daily Tribune — which is to boost infrastructure development in developing countries.
Projects and programs like these are also giving additional motivation to the residents of Siargao — which already has vibrant local communities and private sector players who are environmentally conscious and work closely with government agencies.
We are confident that the Duterte administration can sustain these exciting and life-changing developments for the country before the President’s term ends and we are hoping to see it continue even after a new administration takes over.
We already see the priority of the government and fully supporting the administration’s steps to make it a reality is what we can do to achieve inclusive progress for the country and its people.