MANILA, Philippines – The Ministry of Transport (DOTr) inaugurated improvements to ports and airports in the Ilocos region as it prepares for recovery in tourism and trade.
DOTr said the events involved upgrading and expansion at Salomague Port in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur and Laoag International Airport in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.
“We need to be ready to return to tourism when the pandemic ends,” Transport Minister Arthur Tugade, who led separate inauguration events on July 8, said in a statement.
The port of Salomague is being positioned as an important cruise gateway given Ilocos Sur’s proximity to the ports of Hong Kong, Taiwan and South China.
“Cruise calls are expected to increase as the economic recovery from the pandemic now escalates and gathers steam,” DOTr said.
The extension of the Salomague Port included the construction of a backup area of reinforced concrete platform and the RC Pier extension. These were officially completed on April 20 last year.
Tugade also quoted the Philippine Port Authority’s general manager Jay Santiago for the agency’s role in implementing the project.
“Many projects have been inaugurated and celebrated through the efforts and industry of Jay Santiago and the PPA,” Tugade said. “We look good because of institutions like the PPA.”
DOTr and the Civil Aviation Authority Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) each inaugurated Laoag International Airport on Thursday.
This marked the completion of the new CAAP administrative building, power plant, extension and improvement of passenger terminal building, extension of apron and rehabilitation of the airport runway.
Two additional projects at the gate – asphalt overlay of runway and acquisition of space for future expansion – would be completed within the year, DOTr said.
The department added that Laoag International Airport’s passenger capacity was doubled to at least 200 international passengers and 240 domestic passengers daily.
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