Traffic, transport woes top concerns of incoming DOTC chief

THE incoming Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) secretary, Arthur Tugade, said that his team will lay down strategic plans on ending woes on traffic and transportation before the inauguration set on June 30.

Tugade, who is a San Beda law schoolmate of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, said on Tuesday night that the end target and aim of his administration as the next DOTC chief is to give the travelling public comfort and better services as far as traffic and transportation is concerned.

“Transportation and traffic have been one of the centerpiece platforms during elections, among all the problems in the transport sector, sana maayos na lahat,” he said referring to heavy and unbearable traffic congestion in Metro Manila and other major cities in the country, 'tanim bala' scam, efficiency of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other airports in the country, Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT), among others.

Tugade underscored that before the inauguration, they are hoping that the initial plans will be laid out and will be implemented immediately when the Duterte administration takes over.

But he was quick to add that the detailed information on all the strategic plans to solve the problems in the transportation sector will requires some 100 or a year and half to be finalized.

“The time frame to all the details can range to 100 days to a year and a half, I hope you understand, we are talking here of the structures, policies, systems, all these things cannot be changed and get done overnight,” Tugade said.

Tugade is the founder of the Perry’s Group of Companies, a firm engaged in logistics, farming, fuel distribution, trucking, travel, and fashion. He was also appointed by the outgoing President Benigno Aquino III as chief executive officer and president of Clark Development Corp.

Improving NAIA

When asked on how he will improve the services of NAIA, the busiest airport in the country, Tugade was quick to point out the primary culprit of the airport’s inefficiency – congestion.

“Ang NAIA, alam natin ay malaking problema, basically congestion is the main problem,” he said, adding that too many flights are being directed there.

“There are two things that we can point as major factors contributing to NAIA’s problem, ‘yong tinatawag na sobra sa paggamit ng slot, time in and time out. The ideal capacity of the port, as far as I know is 32 but what had happened pumapalo ng 40-41, sobra talaga. Second is the general aviation, may plano diyan, hindi ko muna sasabihin kung ano ang detalye, (there is a plan for that, I will discuss about it soon),” he said.

General aviation (GA) refers to all civil aviation operations other than scheduled air services and non-scheduled air transport operations for remuneration or hire.

Clark International Airport

“There is no plans to transfer airports, all the airports can coexist, what is important is to improve the service, make sure that the travelling public travels in comfort,” Tugade said.

But he also said that the Clark International Airport will be utilized more when he assumes the post as DOTC secretary.

MRT and LRT issues

On the MRT and LRT, Tugade said that the MRT and LRT issues will soon be solved but they are still planning on the big ticket project, as disclosed by Duterte last week.

“We are still in the process, hintayin ang proseso na pwede maging bago at radikal, we are asking time for to study thoroughly the final plan in the mass transit system,” he said.

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