Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hike in budget modernized RP airports

THE transportation department on Monday said a number of airports throughout the country would not have been modernized, developed and upgraded if not for an increase in budget.

For the period 2001-09, a total of P831.016 million was allocated for airport projects compared with P99.84 million allocated from the years 1994 to 2000, or an increase of 832.35 percent.

This, said Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza in a statement, helped finance the modernization of the Laoag Airport in Ilocos Norte, Vigan Airport in Ilocos Sur, San Fernando Airport in La Union, and the Lingayen, Rosales and Alaminos airports in Pangasinan.

During the same period, 10 municipal port projects were completed by the department with the support of the local government units. Completed at the cost of about P17.2 million for years 2001 to 2009 were the San Vicente, San Esteban and Santiago Ports in Ilocos Sur, and the Picocoboan Port in Pangasinan.

On the other hand, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) spent a total of P331.38 million for the completion of port projects in the Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions, which include the improvement, modernization and rehabilitation of Curimao Port, Ilocos Norte; Port of Aparri, Cagayan; Port of San Fernando, La Union; Port of Basco, Batanes;  and Port of Baloganon, Masinloc, Zambales (Central Luzon).

Also, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) in Ilocos and Cagayan Valley Regions reported that in 2001 to 2009, it had collected a total revenue of P7,358,188. This posted a ratio of revenue collected against the revenue target percentage of 174 percent.

In the last eight years, Marina offices in the Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions regularly conducted mobile registrations along coastal areas and inland waterways. Regional director Bienvenido Ortiz Jr. of Marina in the two regions said that among the regions in the country, the two regions have the least number of maritime accidents.

Meanwhile, the various Land Transportation Offices (LTO) in the region also reported an improvement in the registration of vehicles and apprehension of colorum and smoke-belching vehicles.

The LTO in Ilocos region reported a revenue collection of P3.56 billion from 2001 to 2009. It also reported that there are now several ISO 9001-2000-certified LTO Drivers License Processing offices in this region. They are its offices in San Fernando District Office, Dagupan, Lingayen and Urdaneta.

Seven additional LTO District and Extension Offices have applied for ISO certification. These are in Agoo, Rosales, Alaminos, Batac, Candon, Laoag and Vigan Extension Offices.

Further, LTO Ilocos Norte implemented aggressively the Roadside Inspection for Mobile Air Conditioning System and the Antismoke Belching Campaign to ensure compliance to smoke-emission standards on motor vehicles under the Clean Air Act.

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