By Raymund Antonio
In the four years of the Duterte administration, various infrastructure projects that were expected to boost domestic tourism in Naga City are still hanging in the balance, Vice President Leni Robredo lamented.
Robredo, a native of Bicol, noted the upgrading of the Naga airport and railways has yet to be implemented up to now.
“Bago natapos iyong administrasyon noong nakaraan, mayroon nang PPP (Public-Private Partnership) iyong tren, mayroon nang programa iyong airport. Lahat naantala,” she said.
(Before the end of the previous administration, there was already PPP for the train, a program was in place for the airport. Everything has been delayed.)
The multibillion-peso south line railway and airport upgrading were approved under the administration of then president Benigno S. Aquino III. These were designed to ease the transport of goods and people to and from Bicol.
Robredo attributed the delay in the project implementation after the government shifted to overseas development assistance or ODA from PPP for funding.
The vice president said she sought a meeting with Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade to discuss the matter, to no avail.
Robredo further said she and her fellow Bicolanos have a lot of questions about the projects, but they remain unanswered.
“Hanggang ngayon wala pa din kaming kasagutan—kailan na ba, ano na ba iyong nangyayari,” she said.
(Until now we are not given an answer— when will these start, what is the status.)
The opposition leader expressed disappointment over the lack of attention being given by the government for the improvement of the Naga Airport.
“Kailangan talagang ayusin. Pero hindi binibigyan ng halaga. Iyong nakakalungkot kasi ano ito, dito nakasalalay iyong pag-asenso ng kabuhayan ng marami namin mga kababayan,” she said.
(It needs to be repaired. But it has not been given much importance. What is sad the growth in the livelihood of many of our countrymen depends on it.)