Rehab at pagpapalawak ng mga paliparan ng lumago ang turismo

HINIMOK ni Senador Win Gatchalian ang Department of Transportation (DOTr) na unahin ang pagpapalawak at rehabilitasyon ng mga kasalukuyang paliparan upang mapahusay ang paglalakbay sa himpapawid at suportahan ang industriya ng turismo.

“Kailangan nating palawakin ang ating mga kasalukuyang paliparan, magtayo ng mga bagong terminal, at ilipad ang mga turista diretso sa kanilang mga destinasyon,” sabi ni Gatchalian sa mga opisyal ng DOTr sa nagdaang pagdinig ng Senado sa panukalang pondo ng departamento.

Binanggit ng senador ang isang obserbasyon sa nagdaang pagbisita nito sa Bohol kung saan ang mga turista ay nakapaglakbay mula sa ibang mga bansa diretso sa katatapos lamang na paliparan ng Panglao nang hindi dumaan sa Manila international airport. “Magandang balita ito dahil napapaluwag nito ang congestion sa Maynila at ang mga turista ay nakakalipad ng diretso papunta sa kanilang destinasyon,” sabi ni Gatchalian. Dagdag niya, ang mga paliparang ito ay dapat sumunod sa pandaigdigang pamantayan kabilang na ang customs at border control terminals.

Kabilang aniya sa mga paliparan na dapat palawakin ang mga matatagpuan sa Camarines Norte, Southern Leyte, at North Cotabato. Ayon sa senador, ang pagpapalawak at rehabilitasyon ng naturang mga paliparan ay magpapahusay sa mga aktibidad ng turismo sa mga lalawigang ito, lilikha ng mas maraming trabaho, at magpapatibay sa lokal na ekonomiya.

Iminungkahi ni Gatchalian na dahil kadalasang hindi nagagamit ang lahat ng inilaang pondo para sa pagkuha ng mga right-of-ways, ang DOTr ay maaaring maglaan ng bahagi ng 2024 budget para sa right-of-ways sa ilalim ng National Expenditure Program (NEP) upang magamit sa pagpapalawak ng mga paliparan.

Kung ang paggamit ng P1.65 bilyong pondo para sa right-of-ways sa ilalim ng 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA) ang pag-uusapan, napakababa ng antas nito. Gayundin, ang pondong P12.4 bilyon sa ilalim ng 2023 GAA na inilaan para sa right-of-ways ay napakababa ng disbursement rate hanggang sa kasalukuyan.

Sinabi rin ni Gatchalian na ang pondo ng DOTr para sa sektor ng riles ay tumaas nang malaki sa P163 bilyon kahit na hindi nagagamit ang lahat ng pondong ibinibigay ng national government sa departamento.

Ang tugon naman dito ni DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista, mahigpit na ang koordinasyon ng departamento sa mga kontraktor nito para mapabilis ang pagpapalabas ng bayad.

“Mahalagang bigyang-diin na kailangan nating pagbutihin ang kapasidad ng departamento na gumastos at natutuwa kaming marinig na nakikipagtulungan kayo sa inyong mga kontratista,” sabi ni Gatchalian sa mga opisyal ng DOTr.

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