TANDAG AIRPORT. Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade (2nd from right) and other government officials during a site inspection of Tandag Airport in Surigao del Sur on Wednesday (Feb. 24, 2021). Before flying back to Manila, Tugade ordered a comprehensive check of the airport and its facilities. (Photo courtesy of DOTr)

MANILA – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade on Wednesday ordered a thorough check of the Tandag Airport facility in Surigao del Sur following the onslaught of Tropical Storm Auring.

He ordered the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to check on the airport’s drainage system to ensure that it was not a “major factor” in the flooding at the height of "Auring".

As regards the airport's improvements, Tugade reminded CAAP Deputy Director General for Administration John Estabillo of the airport's runway extension target completion, from the current 1.4 kilometers to 1.6 km. by the end of the year.

He also directed that a study be conducted to make the airport night-rated at the soonest possible time, noting that it will be helpful in its decongestion.

Tugade joined President Rodrigo Duterte and other high-ranking government officials in a situation briefing in Tandag on Tuesday.

During the briefing, Duterte ordered his Cabinet to help the victims, the province’s agriculture sector and repair damaged infrastructure caused by the storm. (PNA)