By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte inaugurated the Sangley Airport in Cavite City on Saturday, one of the big projects in the “Build, Build, Build” program that will help lessen air traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The President said it will be in Sangley Airport that he will take his flight back to his home city in Davao at the end of his term in 2022.
The President has lauded the construction of the Sangley Airport Development Project to reduce air traffic in the Manila airport, citing the efforts made by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
He said Tugade, a former classmate at San Beda College of Law, may be “kuripot” (cheapskate) but is “bright and competent” to complete any assignment given to him.
Duterte also offered an apology to the aviation stakeholders for his past outburst over the congestion problems hounding NAIA. He admitted that he was trying to sort out the “crisis” at the time, and jokingly asked Tugade to blow up the NAIA runway.
Duterte recalled that during the crisis, he suggested the use of Sangley airport for general aviation to reduce air traffic in the Manila airport.
He gave Tugade until the end of 2019 to complete the project, which the transportation chief achieved.
“Look what P700 million can do in the hands of a competent, bright Ilocano (na) ‘to,” he said.
The P486-million Sangley Airport Development Project involves the construction of a new terminal building and the upgrade of the runway equipped with precision approach path indicator lights and air ground lighting system. The airport will be mainly used for general aviation as well as freight and commercial turboprop operations.
The Department of Transportation (DOtr) has set aside P500 million to improve the airport’s drainage system to prevent floods.
Duterte also led the presentation of the Sangley Point International Airport (SPIA) Project at the airport’s New Passenger Terminal Building.
The proposed SPIA Project, a 1,500-hectare master-planned international airport hub, will serve as a global aviation hub to decongest NAIA which is operating above its current capacity.
The Sangley airport will feature four runways and a terminal that can handle 100 million passengers annually.
Duterte led the unveiling of the Sangley airport’s marker.
The airport, previously known as the Danilo Atienza Air Base, was used by the Philippine Air Force.
‘Humiliate’ individuals engaged in corruption
President Duterte will conduct a shame campaign against those involved in corruption to protect public interest and public funds.
At the inauguration of the new Sangley airport in Cavite last Saturday, the President vowed to “humiliate” individuals or entities engaged in corruption. He warned that they would “not only lose your business” but also their pants.
“I tiptoe in the path of the presidency. You know why? Kasi ako ‘pag bumira ng corrupt talagang bibirahin kita (Because when I criticize the corrupt, I will really slam you) and I will humiliate and I will shame you and I will not give you that pleasure of getting back at me,” he said.
As part of his anti-corruption drive, Duterte also said he has prohibited government transactions in his office, and instead left it to the Cabinet to handle such matters. “No transaction of government involving money, dollars, or pesos or whatever would ever pass my desk in the office or in my bedroom, sa study table ko (in my bedroom, study table),” he said.