MANILA – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte expressed hope that the next elected chief executive will also improve his hometown's Davao International Airport.
In his prerecorded Talk to the People aired Tuesday night, Duterte described Davao International Airport as "not as beautiful" as the "most-scenic airport" in Bicol and not even half of the newly rehabilitated and expanded General Santos Airport.
Duterte recalled his order to put Davao City last on the priority list for government infrastructure projects.
"Noong unang meeting dito sa Cabinet, sinabi ko naman talaga sa kanila na unahin ninyo yung ibang lugar, ipahuli ninyo ang Davao kasi taga riyan ako (During our first cabinet meeting, I really told them to work first on other areas, make Davao City last because I'm a resident there)," he said, acknowledging that some Dabawenyos were hurt of his decision.
He added: "Kayong mga taga-Davao alam kong masakit ang loob ninyo na walang feasible na infrastructure dyan (I know you're upset to me because there's no feasible infrastructure there)."
Duterte, who led the inauguration of various airports and seaports under his administration's "Build, Build, Build" initiative, apologized to his fellow Dabawenyos for having lesser infrastructure projects in the area.
"Sabi ko (I said) that is the price that we have to pay. You know, if you happen to be in a place where there are some public works going on, you do not want to be criticized as one na inuuna mo yung iyo, yung iba huli na lang (that prioritizing your own over the others)," Duterte said.
The Davao International Airport has a single 3,000-meter precision runway mainly serving passengers from the entire Davao region.
It is currently serving seven airlines and is handling around 3 to 4 million passengers annually.
"Baka ang sunod na presidente maawa sa atin, bigyan tayo ng bagong airport. 'Wag masyado ninyong dibdibin kasi that's part of a human trait na may iba may gustong unahin. Yung iba naman ipahuli kasi gustong unahin yun iba (Maybe the next president will be pity on us and will give us a new airport. Don't worry too much because that's part of a human trait that some people wanted to be prioritized. Some want to prioritize others)," Duterte said.
Duterte believes that the next administration will also make some improvements in his hometown. (PNA)