Context is king: Tugade explains why progress in LRT-1 Cavite Extension project is a big deal

The Light Rail Transit (LRT-1) Cavite Extension project has achieved a completion rate of over 50 percent under the Duterte administration.

(Photo from Art Tugade's Facebook)

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade made this revelation over the weekend in his Facebook account, where he gave context as to how extraordinary the achievement was.

"From being one of the pioneers in establishing railroad network in Asia, ironically, we are trailing behind. From more than a thousand-kilometer railroad network in the 1970’s, our country’s operational railway length drastically shrunk to only 77 kilometers in 2016," he said.

Tugade said the LRT-1 Cavite Extension was just one of the numerous rail projects that "were left hanging".

He said the particular project was "delayed for 19 years with no progress ever seen until June 2016". That month, President Duterte took over from the previous administration.

"Right of Way acquisition started way back in 2007. Unfortunately, 0 was certified 'free and clear' by the independent consultant when we came in. Now, the LRT-1 Cavite Extension is 55.6 complete!" he said.

Tugade said that once operational, the 11.7-kilometer railway line "will drastically reduce travel time between Baclaran in Parañaque and Bacoor in Cavite from 1 hour 10 minutes down to 25 minutes."

He further noted that the LRT-1 Cavite Extension can accommodate 500,000 to 800,000 passengers per day.

"The investment poured by this administration in the railways sector under the Build, Build, Build program is significantly larger than the total railway investments in the last 50 years combined," Tugade earlier said.