INSPECTION. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (left) and Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista during an inspection at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on Jan. 6, 2023. Bautista said transport infrastructure projects would help “cement the Philippines as a prime tourist destination.” (PNA photo by Alfred Frias)

MANILA – Big-ticket infrastructure projects of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will improve tourism in remote areas and unlock economic potential in the provinces, Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said.

During a general membership meeting of the Philippine International Air Transport Association Agents Travel Association on Wednesday, Bautista said such infrastructure projects will help “cement the Philippines as a prime tourist destination.”

“Improving and modernizing the country’s transportation system will be crucial to ensure tourists enjoy their travel and vacation experience,” Bautista said.

He cited the new passenger terminal building of the Clark International Airport, the ongoing construction of the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan, Sangley Point International Airport in Cavite, improvement works at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and the Bicol International Airport.

To date, he said the DOTr and the Department of Tourism are working together towards improving the local economy through tourism.

“We are closely coordinating with the Department of Tourism towards boosting tourist arrivals,” he said.

Railway projects are in full swing such as the North-South Commuter Railway project, the Metro Manila Subway project, the Common Station, the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7), the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension, the Philippine National Railway North and South Long-Haul project, the Subic-Clark Railway, and the Mindanao Railway.

In Metro Manila, he said the EDSA Busway has improved the mobility of commuters.

In the maritime sector, the DOTr is working with the Philippine Ports Authority to improve commercial and social tourism ports with the goal of more efficiently moving passengers and goods while lowering costs. (PNA)