DOTr Undersecretary for Planning Timothy John Batan (Screengrab from Laging Handa briefing)

MANILA – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is looking to build new airports in different provinces to boost the safety and availability of air transport throughout the country.

Pinag-aaralan din natin ang pagtatayo ng mga bagong paliparan sa Zamboanga, sa Dumaguete, Masbate at Bukidnon (We are looking into building new airports in Zamboanga, Dumaguete, Masbate, and Bukidnon),” DOTr Undersecretary for Planning Timothy John Batan said in a Laging Handa briefing on Wednesday.

Batan said new airports will not be limited to these areas, with the DOTr still eyeing more airports in different provinces as well as the continued construction of ongoing projects such as the New Manila International Airport (NMIA) in Bulakan, Bulacan.

Kasama sa mga prayoridad ng ating administrasyon ang pagtatayo ng bagong international airport na magseserbisyo sa Kamaynilaan. Siyempre, nandiyan iyong tututukan nating pagtatayo ng NMIA (Included in the priority projects of our administration are the construction of new international airports that will serve Metro Manila. Of course, this includes our priority project, the NMIA),” he said.

Batan said the DOTr is coordinating with the Cavite provincial government for their new proposal on the Sangley International Airport.

Ang objective natin diyan ay magkaroon ng mas safe at mas malawak na reach ang ating mga airports at nang tayo ay makapag-accommodate ng mas maraming flights at pasahero dito sa ating paliparan (Our objective is to create airports that are safer and with a wider reach that can accommodate more flights and passengers),” he said.

In July, the San Miguel Corporation and its unit San Miguel Aerocity Inc. -- awarded with the PHP734 billion build-operate-transfer contract for the project -- said it will continue building the NMIA even after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. vetoed a bill for the creation of a special economic zone in the area.

In his veto message, Marcos said the bill, which would give tax incentives to companies in the economic zone, would also “significantly narrow” the country’s tax base and is not aligned with the government’s objective to develop a tax system with “a broad base and low rates.” (PNA)