Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez on Sunday urged his fellow lawmakers to back a 30-year transport road map that will upgrade airports, including the Tacloban City airport, into international facilities.
“I am elated to hear that government has finally committed to upgrade Tacloban airport into an international airport,” said Romualdez, president of the Philippine Constitution Association and the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats.
“Upgrading our airports in the provinces for international use would surely boost local economies and ensure equitable growth among the regions.
“The Duterte administration has ushered in the golden era of infrastructure in the Philippines. This is an opportunity for us to come up with a road map that would guide policymakers in developing transport infrastructure linking all areas in the country.”
Last week, Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade met with Romualdez and 40 other members of the House of Representatives and told them about the government’s plan to build additional international airports and rehabilitate the old ones.
Tugade said the airport development and modernization program was part of the 30-year road map designed by the Duterte administration.
“I am seeking all your help to ensure that this road map will be approved by Congress. Without legislation, this road map will remain just a program that may be scrapped by future administrations.”
Various transport-related agencies and local governments had come up with their own transport plans or strategies, Tugade said.
“However, to be able to bring a more focused or targeted intervention that is more inclusive, these various strategies need to focus on establishing interconnectivity between key urban growth centers and between lagging and fast-growing regions, and creating supporting institutions that promote greater integration.”
The 30-year road map will serve as a strategic framework that will help policymakers identify the country’s transport needs and guide them in implementing an integrated, more coordinated approach to establish stronger transport infrastructure linkages as part of the Duterte administration’s inclusive growth agenda.
During the meeting, Romualdez, along with the other lawmakers, gave their assurance to initiate support for the passage of law backing the 30-year transport road map.
“I requested the assembly of congressmen here precisely for that reason. We badly need a strategic framework for linking the entire country though well-designed infrastructure projects. This is one program worthy of our all-out support, Romualdez said.
“Even the President has taken notice of the chaos at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 2. He was not pleased to see how passengers endured congestion due to flight delays and cancellations.
“If necessary, we may have to double the amount in the 2020 national budget. This requires a multi-partisan support from both the Senate and the House of Representatives.”
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