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Breaking The Habit

Philippine airports are better than ever in 2019

What a year it has been for travel and tourism infrastructure in the country. With Philippine airports and seaports, as well as bus and train systems being repaired and refurbished, it seems that getting around has never been easier for Filipinos.

In a recent report from sleepinginairports.net, the airport sleepers’ guide and resource website ranked Mactan-Cebu International Airport as #16 in the 20 Best Airports in Asia. This comes as no surprise, as the country’s second-busiest airport has been showered with praises since its 2018 facelift. Its second terminal started construction in 2016 and opened at the halfway mark of last year. It currently serves international flights, with many coming from and going to South Korea.

Decongesting NAIA

Even bigger news is reverberating around the capital region, as Sangley Point International Airport successfully had its dry run this week. The Cavite development is being touted as the key to decongesting the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

While NAIA continues to be the country’s most frequented, air traffic congestion leading to delays, as well as unbearable queues in immigration and travel tax counters continue to plague the airport.

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It hasn’t been all bad, though, as NAIA has already improved vastly since 2016. Most people remember 2015 as the year NAIA was mired by the “tanim-bala” scheme. The modus was airport security officials planting live ammunition in passengers’ luggage, in an effort to extort them.

READ: 4M jobs created by ‘Build, Build, Build’ since 2016

More to come

While the past year has been bannered by big transport infrastructure projects such as the Bohol-Panglao International Airport and the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), many more smaller projects are underway for Philippine airports, seaports, and land transport terminals.

Just two weeks ago, the Surigao Airport runway was restored. The international airport in Bulacan is good to go. Ramon Ang is even buttering up Mayor Benjamin Magalong to revive Loakan Airport in Baguio. The Marcos bridge which connects Marikina to Antipolo City and everything East of the capital region reopened ahead of schedule.

While bureaucracy has seemingly stalled the plans of Department of Transportation (DOTr) Art Tugade to improve traffic management in Metro Manila, the same cannot be said throughout the country. Work continues to be done. The promise of President Rodrigo Duterte still echoes on, “Build, Build, Build.”

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