The government plans to transform the transportation sector and elevate it to global standards by building big-ticket infrastructure projects.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said the priority is to enhance passenger experience at all stages of their journey and provide affordable, safe and accessible travel.
“We should focus our efforts at moving passengers and goods that use our roads, airports, seaports, and railways,” he said.
Bautista said the Marcos government would sustain the infrastructure program of the previous administration.
“I would like to assure that we will seriously consider continuing the various programs implemented under [former] President Duterte’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ initiative,” he said.
“We do not need to reinvent the wheel. These big-ticket projects truly deserve continuity to strike the maximum benefits for the Filipino people,” he said.
The Duterte government allocated P8 trillion to P9 trillion for infrastructure projects, raising the budget for the sector from only 2 percent of gross domestic product in the previous four administrations to an average of 5 percent of GDP.
One of the big ticket projects is the Metro Manila Subway Project―a 33-kilometer subway, dubbed as the “project of the century”, which stretches from Valenzuela City in the northern part of Metro Manila to Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Paranaque City.
The project is expected to reduce travel time between Quezon City and NAIA from one hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes. It is expected to serve around 370,000 passengers a day in its first year of full operations, with capacity to serve up to 1 million passengers a day in later years.
The MMSP is physically interconnected and interoperable with the North-South Commuter Railway System’s south segment, enabling a passenger to board a subway train, for example, in North Ave. Station and get off at the Calamba Station of NSCR.
Other projects include the PNR Clark Phase 1 (Tutuban to Malolos), the P50.03-billion Subic-Clark Raiway Project and the P142-billion Philippine National Railway Bicol Project from Banlic, Calamba to Daraga, Albay, among others.
The DOTr in January 2022 signed a P142-billion contract with Chinese companies to build the first 380 kilometers of the Philippine National Railway Bicol Project.
The agency through former Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade signed the design-build contract with the joint venture of China Railway Group Ltd., China Railway No. 3 Engineering Group Co. Ltd. and China Railway Engineering Consulting Group Co. Ltd. The agreement covers the design, construction and electromechanical works of the project.
The first 380 kilometers of PNR Bicol from Banlic, Calamba to Daraga, Albay will span 39 cities and municipalities, four provinces and two regions. It will involve the construction of 23 stations, 230 bridges, 10 passenger tunnels and a 70-hectare depot in San Pablo, Laguna.
Meanwhile, the P82-billion Mindanao Railway Project: Tagum-Davao-Digos segment of the Mindanao Railway is expected to reduce travel time from Tagum City, Davao del Norte to Digos City, Davao del Sur from 3.5 hours to 1.3 hours once it starts operations.
The P51 billion Subic-Clark Railway Project, on the other hand, will cut the travel time between Clark in northern Pampanga province and Manila from two to three hours by bus to one hour by train, with a maximum rail speed of up to 160 kilometers per hour.
Discussions with the Chinese government for the financing of several projects continue.
Bautista said the government would also promote green transport projects and electric vehicles throughout the country.
He said that the agency would ensure that transport policies and projects are dovetailed on the preservation of the environment and compliant with international environment standards towards alleviating the impact of transportation on the environment.
Bautista also underscored projects which aim to improve transportation efficiency and reduce carbon emissions through the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.
“The Department of Transportation launched programs geared at improving transportation efficiency and reducing emissions and pollutants from the public transportation sector,” Bautista said.
He said the establishment of the national development plan for the electric vehicle industry is a big push for the promotion of electric vehicles.
Bautista said the DOTr would support and assist in the advancement of the Republic Act 11697 or the Development of Electric Vehicle Industry in the Philippines to provide sustainable transport alternatives to Filipinos.