By EMMIE V. ABADILLA
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will inaugurate two airports and at least two sea ports from March to June, 2020, Secretary Arthur Tugade announced in Monday’s ‘Transport Talks’ where the agency laid out plans for the sector. More will be launched until end of the year.
The DOTr secretary also clarified the issues on San Miguel Aerocity Inc.’s construction of the ₱734 -billion Bulacan International Airport. “The Department of Finance (DOF) is just trying to clarify certain provisions to protect the interest of the government. Having said that, the issues of delays because of this move is really not in sync with the present realities,” he remarked.
In the rail sector, DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan gave updates on the ongoing MRT-3 Rehabilitation which is months ahead of its target completion date. Philippine National Railways (PNR) GM Junn Magno presented the improvement on the services of the Philippine National Railways, as a result of the railway system’s 2018 train procurement.
The Light Rail Transit (LRT) 2 will resume normal operations soon. “By the end of June, we will already see a big improvement,” LRT Authority (LRTA) Administrator Rey Berroya pledged. “We have finished the processes to restore the operations of LRT 2. The Bureau of Fire Protection has allowed us to enter the burned areas. We have obtained a permit from the LRTA board of directors to speed up the process.”
For the road sector, Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Asec. Edgar Galvante gave updates in the procedure of issuance of license cards, which includes a 15-hour lecture about road traffic regulations and courtesy as requirement to pass the application of student permits. Holders of student permits must first pass the non-pro license before could be eligible for a professional driver’s license.
“Driving is a privilege. If they can’t pass the requirements, we can’t issue them licenses,” he stressed. LTO is also undertaking an initiative to translate the examination questionnaires for the issuance of license cards in rural areas in their respective dialects.