DOTC earmarks additional funds for WV ports, facilities

DOTC earmarks additional funds for WV ports, facilities

Wednesday 5th of October 2011

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 5 (PIA) -- The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has earmarked P347.2 million to upgrade ports and related facilities in Western Visayas this year according to Assistant Secretary Ildefonso Patdu, Jr.

He added that DOTC will pour in more funds amounting to P1.04 billion in 2012.

Speaking on behalf of DOTC Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II at the recent quarterly meeting of the Regional Development Council (RDC) chaired by Capiz Gov. Victor Tanco, Sr. here, Patdu said the upgrading projects will cover the airports in Iloilo, Bacolod-Silay in Negros Occ., Roxas City in Capiz and Kalibo in Aklan.

These will also involve the seaports in these areas as well as in other provinces of the region.

Part of the funds allocated for projects this year will go to the upgrading and construction of buildings of the Land Transportation Office LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

In particular, the facilities of the Iloilo Airport that will be improved are the check-in and arrival areas and cargo terminal. This is part of the preparations for any international flights entitlements that would be directed to the airport in line with the “open skies policy” of the government.

The national government now has air service agreements with foreign airlines which have separate entitlements for points outside of Manila including Iloilo.

These outside points are intended for the use of foreign carriers from Palau, Macau, the Netherlands, Cambodia, Qatar, Thailand, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Turkey Bahrain, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, and Hongkong.

Patdu said that foreign carriers can be liberally granted access to Iloilo Airport with the issuance of Executive Order No. 29 on the “open skies policy”.

It will be recalled that the government has adopted the “open skies policy” by virtue of Executive Order No. 29 signed by President Aquino signed in March of this year. The policy liberalizes the country’s secondary airports other than the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) by allowing more foreign carriers to fly and bring in more tourists. The open skies scheme is also expected to boost Philippine international trade. (JCM/JSC/PIA6)

Cabatuan, Iloilo, Philippines - Timeline 2011