Duterte visits Mindoro, inaugurates 16th port project in under a month

President Duterte led on Thursday, Nov. 18 the simultaneous inauguration of eight seaport development projects in Mindoro, bringing to 16 the number of such projects that have been inaugurated under the "Build, Build, Build" program in less than a month's time.

(From left to right) President Rodrigo Duterte, DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade, and Senator Bong Go conduct an inspection at the Calapan Port Passenger Terminal Building on Nov. 18, 2021 (Screenshot from Facebook live)

"I commend the DOTr (Department of Transportation) as well as the PPA (Philippine Ports Authority) for their work on the eight seaports to be inaugurated today," said Duterte in his speech.

He physically attended the rites Thursday afternoon wherein he led an inspection of the Calapan Port Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.

"We welcome this occasion with much optimism because these public infrastructures will improve mobility and productivity and help boost economic growth in the area," Duterte said.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and PPA General Manager Daniel Santiago joined the Chief Executive in the simultaneous inaugurations, which included two port projects in the Port of Abra de Ilog in Occidental Mindoro, as well as port projects in the Ports of Calapan, Puerto Galera, Bulalacao, Mansalay, Bansud, and Roxas.

Highlighting the event is the ongoing expansion of the Port of Calapan’s passenger terminal building (PTB), which can now accommodate 3,500 passengers at any given time. The PPA also completed the port's access road to prevent traffic build-up in the area.

Last Nov. 4, Duterte was in Palawan to inaugurate the Puerto Princesa Seaport Expansion Project. This was preceded by the simultaneous inauguration of seven port projects in Bohol last Oct. 29.

"Build, Build, Build" refers to the Duterte administration's flagship infrastructure modernization program.

"The island of Mindoro plays a significant role in boosting the country’s interconnectivity as it serves as a gateway for passengers and goods coming from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao and vice versa," Duterte said.

He said that apart from seamlessly connecting the country’s regions, the newly inaugurated ports will also boost Mindoro's tourism industry.

"Indeed these projects affirm the government’s strong commitment to improve the lives of Filipinos by pursuing vital structures, projects even amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic," Duterte said.

"Rest assured that this administration is focused on addressing the current and future needs of the country through all its policies and programs. As we put the welfare of our kababayans on the top of our priorities we can simply find ways to uplift their lives especially those who are in need the most.

"I therefore ask my fellow workers in the government as well as the private sector partners to continue working together to achieve inclusive progress allowing much needed public services to become more responsive and accessible," the President said.