Airport rehab, seaports needed to boost logistics
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) raised the need to develop airports and maritime facilities further in order to better handle cargo movements across the country.
“With a country of around 7,641 islands distributed across more than 2.2 million square-kilometer of total area, movement of goods via air and water is critical,” Timothy John Batan, undersecretary for planning and project development of DOTr, said in an event in Pasay on Friday.
As such, Batan said the government was keen on pushing for the rehabilitation and capacity expansion of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), the country’s main gateway, through a public-private partnership (PPP).
Included in the PPP pipeline were several regional airports such as New Bohol International Airport, Laguindingan Airport, Bicol International Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Puerto Princesa International Airport and more, he enumerated.
Batan, basing on 2020 data, noted that Naia has an annual cargo capacity of 534 million kilograms; Clark International Airport, 31.8 million kg; Mactan-Cebu International Airport, 43.8 million kg; Bohol-Panglao International Airport, 2.5 million kg; and Zamboanga International Airport, 5.7 million kg.
The New Manila International Airport in Bulacan, meanwhile, was projected to handle 458.13 million kg per year, Batan said.
In 2020, the DOTr official said that 733 million kg of goods were transported via air.
As for the maritime sector, Batan said that the agency was pursuing the New Cebu International Container Port to expand cargo-handling capacity of the country.
He noted that the actual cargo volume at ports reached 463,106 twenty-foot equivalent units in 2020.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista previously said that the agency had ongoing projects in seven provincial ports, which were seen to support more transport of goods.
These include the Tagudin Port in Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan Riverlanding Port, Balogo Port in Marinduque, Banate Port in Iloilo, Padre Burgos Port in Southern Leyte and Unidos Port and Balangonan Port in Davao Occidental.
“Improving these facilities will help decongest other ports by opening up additional space for vessels and ensure the efficient and faster turnaround of commercial vessels,” he said earlier.
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