A press release by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) revealed President Rodrigo Duterte is confident that DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade will meet the November deadline for the “augmented operationalization” of Sangley Airport in Cavite.
Duterte expressed this in a speech during the 121st Philippine Navy founding anniversary celebration at Sangley Point, following his inspection of the construction progress of Sangley Airport yesterday.
“Art is a worker. He has built beautiful airports all around the country. Arthur was a valedictorian at the College of Law. Magaling talaga ‘yan (He’s really good). He will do it with your (Philippine Navy’s) help,” the President said.
Aboard a coaster, Duterte and Tugade inspected the completed asphalt overlay of the runway, and the ongoing construction of the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), the improved drainage system, and the hangars.
The President was accompanied at the inspection by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Senator-elect Christopher “Bong” Go, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., DOTr Usec. for Finance Garry de Guzman, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) director general Jim Sydiongco, and DOTr Asec. for Procurement and Project Implementation Giovanni Lopez.
Tugade thanked the President for his trust, and promised not to disappoint him and the many “air-riding passengers.” He said that, once completed, Sangley will help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Last June 13, Tugade ordered for the construction of additional facilities at Sangley Airport “to be accelerated to 24/7” for the gateway to commence general aviation and turboprop operations by November of this year.
This move is seen as one among several in “a basket of solutions” to help decongest the four terminals of (NAIA) which, in recent years, have seen a significant increase in passenger and flight volume.
Tugade, in a meeting with aviation and military officials before the inspection with President Duterte, told project contractor Unimasters Conglomeration, Inc. managing director Shann Chan to make good on their word that they will finish all construction before the November deadline.