Service interruptions for the January to June period, as well, continue to taper. This year saw 12 service interruptions for the first half, a substantial improvement from 25 service interruptions recorded for the same period in 2015; 31 in 2016 and 2017; and 13 in 2018.
In order to bring back the MRT-3 to its original form, the MRT-3 Rehabilitation Project has officially started under Sumitomo Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and TES Philippines.
Likewise, the Philippine National Railways (PNR), after 20 years, reopened its services from Caloocan to Dela Rosa in Makati, and extended the rail service to Sangandaan station, then eventually to Malabon with the opening of the Governor Pascual Station.
UNIFIED GRAND CENTRAL STATION (COMMON STATION). For over nine years, the dream of connecting the country’s major rail lines was stalled. With disputes lingering on a location, the DoTr settled the issue and started the construction of the “common station” that will soon connect four major rail lines.
REPUBLIKANG MAY PLAKA. Facing a backlog of vehicle license plates, the DoTr, through the Land Transportation Office (LTO), took the challenge as it started to manufacture its own license plates via its plate-making facility. Through LTO’s efforts, 1.7 million pairs of plates have been distributed nationwide.
NEW AND IMPROVED LICENSE CARDS. In the past, citizens were dismayed as they received only paper receipts instead of an actual driver’s license card. Again, the LTO resolved the situation as over 10 million license cards have been printed, accompanied by a five-year validity period and 32 security features against counterfeit attempts.
MORE P2P ROUTES. Commuters now enjoy the comfort of riding Point-to-Point (P2P) buses, as premium P2Ps now have 37 routes, compared to only two routes in 2015.
TRANSACTIONS GOING DIGITAL. Previously, government offices were plagued by standby fixers that led to long lines and a bad reputation for agencies with frontline operations. This operation was addressed as various attached agencies of the DoTr have implemented online transactions to avoid fixers and expedite daily services.
DAVAO TO MANILA SHIPPING ROUTE RETURNS. For almost 10 years, ferry operations from Davao to Manila were non-existent. This was revived under the Duterte administration, with the reopening of the Davao to Manila shipping route, giving passengers an accessible and affordable mode of transportation.
COAST GUARD FULLY EQUIPPED TO SERVE. For decades, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) lagged behind in resources and equipment that made it difficult for maritime safety and search and rescue operations. The DoTr then pushed PCG’s capabilities, which resulted in the acquisition of fast patrol boats, Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRV) and Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB). Additionally, 560 of the nation’s lighthouses are now operational with 20 more to be added this year.
II. MAJOR PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
As the DoTr closes a grueling chapter for Filipinos, the agency moves forward towards better living by way of the “Build, Build, Build” Program. Transport infrastructures are being built under the aviation and airports, railways, road transport and maritime sectors, coupled with major programs and initiatives to give the riding public a comfortable life.
Aviation and Airports
The challenge of bridging each of the country’s regions across an archipelago is a daunting task, but for the DoTr, enhanced connectivity and mobility are of utmost importance. That is why the DoTr has been constructing brand new airports and upgrading and rehabilitating the country’s existing gateways.
BOHOL-PANGLAO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. Under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” Program, the DoTr opened the new Bohol-Panglao International Airport, the country’s first eco-airport, and hailed as the “Green Gateway to the world.” A first of its kind, the new airport utilizes natural ventilation and harnesses solar energy from the roof of its Passenger Terminal Building (PTB). When the Duterte administration came in, the construction of the airport was above 48 percent slippage. With the constant and strict push of the DoTr, the airport was completed and inaugurated in 2018, ahead of its original completion schedule in 2021.
MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. Another flagship project, Terminal 2 of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport was also inaugurated to accommodate more passengers, further boosting the capacity of the airport, while giving a reputation as the world’s friendliest resort airport. When the DoTr came in 2016, the construction of the airport was 11 months delayed due to land issues. DoTr pushed for the settlement of these issues and monitored the implementation of an efficient catch-up plan, which led to the on-time completion of the new terminal.
AIRPORT REHABILITATION AND UPGRADES. Infrastructure developments for the domestic airports of Virac, Marinduque, Tuguegarao, San Vicente and Busuanga in Luzon; Maasin, Ormoc, Tacloban and Catarman in the Visayas; and Ipil, Mati, Camiguin and Siargao in Mindanao, have been accomplished.
Expansion of PTB for Clark International Airport and Vigan Airport are in the works, with both airports set for construction of additional runways and extensions, respectively.
Airport development projects are slated for the airports in Laoag, Baler and Antique, together with a new airport to be built in Bukidnon.
ADDITION OF BRAND-NEW AIRPORTS. Future airports in Bicol and Bulacan are being constructed and developed, while the Sangley Airport in Cavite commences its 24/7 construction work to become an additional gateway that will help in decongesting NAIA as it undergoes rehabilitation.
NIGHT-RATING OF AIRPORTS. Finally, 21 of the country’s airports have been night-rated under the Duterte administration, with 15 more to be night-rated by the end of the President’s term.
The country has a total of 77 kilometers of operational railways. The DoTr plans to further expand its current length to a total of 1,900 kilometers to benefit the riding public. Under the Duterte administration, construction has started for four railway projects, namely, the PNR Clark Phase 1, LRT Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension, the “common station” and the Metro Manila Subway Project. The DoTr also continued two more railway projects that began during the previous administration: the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) and the LRT Line 2 (LRT-2) East Extension.
PNR CLARK PHASE 1. Under the North-South Commuter Railway Project that will connect Pampanga, Bulacan, Metro Manila, and Laguna, the PNR Clark Phase 1 has commenced full construction. PNR Clark Phase 1 will cater to passengers from Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila and back. Procurement is also underway for the line’s train sets. Once completed, PNR Clark Phase 1 will reduce travel time between Manila and Malolos from 1 hour and 30 minutes to only 35 minutes.
LRT-1 CAVITE EXTENSION. After nearly two decades and three administrations have passed, the DoTr has started the construction for the LRT-1 Cavite Extension, lengthening its services from Baclaran to Niog in Bacoor, Cavite. Upon project completion in 2021, travel time is expected to drop from 1 hour and 10 minutes to just 25 minutes.
METRO MANILA SUBWAY. Only under the Duterte administration can the vision of an underground railway system servicing the riding public turn into reality. The DoTr officially broke ground for the construction of the Metro Manila Subway that will run from Quezon City to NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay and FTI in Taguig. The Metro Manila Subway will cross seven local governments and pass through three of Metro Manila’s business districts, reducing travel time to just 36 minutes. Partial operability is set for 2022, with full operations to commence by 2025.
MRT-7. The construction of the MRT-7 that will connect commuters from Quezon City to San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan is nearing halfway into completion. Once the MRT-7 is fully operational, travel time will be reduced from two to three hours to just 35 minutes.
LRT-2 EAST EXTENSION. The existing LRT-2 will have two new additional stations in Marikina and Antipolo, set for completion by the fourth quarter of 2020. These two stations will greatly aid commuters from Recto, Manila going to Masinag, Antipolo and back, with reduced travel time from three hours to just 40 minutes.
FUTURE RAILWAY PROJECTS. Apart from the ongoing construction of railway projects, two others are set for construction: the PNR Bicol, and the Mindanao Railway Project, which will be Mindanao’s first railway system.
Initiatives have also been launched to further strengthen the services of the country’s existing railways in order to give the public affordable and efficient services.
MRT-3 REHABILITATION PROJECT. The MRT-3 continues to be revived to serve the nation’s capital. Sumitomo Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and TES Philippines are now onboard as the MRT-3’s maintenance provider. Once the MRT-3 Rehabilitation Project is complete, expect the MRT-3 to increase the number of train sets in operation during peak hours, double its speed, and decrease waiting times in half.
DALIAN TRAINS. Three Dalian train sets have successfully accomplished commissioning and validation tests, and have undergone test deployment. Through the efforts of the DoTr, the said trains have been modified at zero cost to the government.
Regarding the Northrail project, a deal was settled wherein the government saved about P5 billion. Demolition of posts built along the old alignment is ongoing.
Commuters deserve comfortable, safe, and accessible terminals as they go about their destinations daily. Addressing numerous terminals that are scattered all over Metro Manila, the DoTr has started the construction of intermodal landports to help decongest the nation’s current traffic situation.
PARAÑAQUE INTEGRATED TERMINAL EXCHANGE. Opened to the public as the country’s first landport, the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) was launched to serve as a transfer point for commuters from Cavite and Batangas to Metro Manila, while giving the public world-class features and services as a premier land terminal.
FUTURE LAND TERMINALS. Two terminals will further improve traffic flow in and out of Metro Manila. These are the Taguig City Integrated Terminal Exchange and the North Integrated Terminal Exchange in Bulacan. The DoTr was able to sit down with private partners to remove around P12.5 billion in grantor’s payments for the said projects.
Additionally, there are also plans for future road transport infrastructure projects, such as the Cebu Intermodal and Integrated Transport System and the Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Line 1.
Apart from infrastructure development, the DoTr has launched numerous programs and initiatives to better give commuters a comfortable public road transport service.
PUBLIC UTILITY VEHICLE MODERNIZATION PROGRAM. The Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), a flagship project of the Duterte administration, continues to roll out, providing comfortable, safe, and environment-friendly PUV to commuters and stable livelihood to drivers. The DoTr, in collaboration with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), has launched livelihood programs and skills trainings for drivers and operators that may be affected by the PUVMP.
ESTABLISHMENT OF I-ACT. In the early days of the current administration, the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) was formed to serve as the single traffic body in charge of road traffic management and traffic enforcement. Successful campaigns and operations have led to the surrender of old PUV that do not conform to safety and environmental guidelines.
Across the Philippines, massive improvements have been made in the country’s seaports, its facilities and services. The improvement of the nation’s ports is seen to boost connectivity and mobility, as well as spur regional growth in trade and tourism.
The DoTr and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) have completed 200 commercial and social/tourism port projects nationwide. Ports and its respective PTB have been finished and are ready to serve sea travelers.