DOT calls for significant upgrades to secondary airports nationwide

By Wilnard Bacelonia

May 14, 2024, 7:17 pm

<p>Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco <em>(PNA photo by Avito Dalan)</em></p>

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco on Tuesday highlighted the need to implement significant upgrades in airports outside Metro Manila.

Frasco said services and facilities in developing such secondary gateways as Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, and other areas with the potential to become international gateways should be improved to further boost the country's tourism industry.

"The accessibility of our destinations hinges on the efficiency and capacity (of our) airports. Therefore, ensuring that our airports meet global standards of excellence is of absolute and critical importance if we are to increase the competitiveness of the country in terms of tourism," she said during the hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Public Services on the current state of international airports around the country.

She noted that the DOT, in collaboration with the Department of Transportation, has already made “positive developments,” such as enhancing terminal facilities and introducing a layover program to attract transit passengers.

However, she said, significant upgrades are still needed to enhance operational efficiency.

"Many of our airports need significant upgrades to handle the growing volume of passengers, which is why we're grateful that the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) has been granted for the airports, and we look forward to its implementation," Frasco said.

"The Department of Tourism is committed to working collaboratively with our fellow government agencies to ensure that our airports meet the highest standards of excellence.”

She also pointed out that the National Tourism Development Plan 2023-2028, which has been approved by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., emphasizes the need for the “improvement of infrastructure and connectivity” in the tourism industry.

The Senate panel, presided over by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, was convened to discuss the malfunctioning escalators, elevators, and air-conditioning systems, as well as the status of PPPs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and other international airports in the Visayas and Mindanao. (PNA)