DOTr writes open letter to Senator Drilon and presented current situation of BBB: “These projects can very well speak for themselves”

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) wrote an open letter to Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon after the latter called the ‘Build, Build, Build’ (BBB) program of the Duterte administration as a ‘dismal failure’.

On a lengthy post, DOTr gave an update to Senator Drilon to prove that the BBB is not going to be a failure.

They listed the current situation of some key projects of the Duterte administration, saying that they already “raised the standards” when it comes to trying to complete the said projects and even ready to work 24/7 just to do the job more quickly.

These are the updates gave by DOTR to Senator Drilon:

Aviation and Airports

In the aviation and airports sector alone, the DOTr and its attached agencies have completed 64 airport projects under the Duterte administration, with 133 more ongoing.

Completed projects include the Bohol-Panglao International Airport, which began feasibility study in 2000, but construction only started in June 2015 with 48% slippage upon transition to the current administration. It was inaugurated in November 2018.

Construction of the new terminal of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport was delayed for 11 months in 2016. It was inaugurated in 2017 and is now fully operational.

The Sangley Airport in Cavite, which already had initial construction works last year, underwent 24/7 construction this year and had its operational dry run this October.

The Lal-Lo International Airport, inaugurated in March 2018, now has an upgraded runway capable of handling bigger aircraft. It received its first international commercial flight in 2018.

The Tacloban Airport’s expanded passenger terminal building was inaugurated in March 2018. Rehabilitation works for the Ormoc Airport have been completed in July 2019, after the airport was severely damaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) back in 2013.

The Puerto Princesa International Airport’s new passenger terminal building was completed in May 2017. The San Vicente Airport, also in Palawan, was inaugurated in May 2018, and it can now accommodate light aircraft and chartered flights.

Domestic airports also underwent improvements. These include the gateways in Camiguin, Virac, and Tuguegarao.

Meanwhile, ongoing airport projects include the Bicol International Airport which was delayed for 11 years and is now more than halfway complete; the second passenger terminal building of the Clark International Airport; the Davao International Airport; Bukidnon Airport; Surigao Airport; and Kalibo Airport.

Another key aviation project is the Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM). The implementation of this project was 10 years delayed. Now, the system is fully operational, bringing the erstwhile total of 3 radars to currently 13 and ensuring 100% coverage of Philippine airspace for aviation safety.


For railways, we have six projects with ongoing construction and one undergoing rehabilitation.

The country’s first underground railway system, the Metro Manila Subway, started works in February 2019, and is slated to start site preparation and earthworks in December 2019.

The much-delayed MRT-7, whose Concession Agreement was signed in 2008 but had nearly zero movement until 2016, is now 50% complete.

Approved by the NEDA Board in 2007 and stalled since 2009, the Common Station is now undergoing 24/7 construction and 50% complete.

The LRT-1 Cavite Extension, delayed for 19 years, finally started full-blast construction this year.

The LRT-2 East Extension project is now in the final stages of construction and is set for completion by 2020.

The MRT-3, battered from years of poor and erratic maintenance, is now undergoing comprehensive rehabilitation with Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan.

PNR Clark Phase 1 is in full-blast construction and on its way to partial completion by 2021.

PNR Clark Phase 2, PNR Calamba, PNR Bicol, Subic-Clark Railway, and the Mindanao Railway are all in the pipeline, and are now undergoing various stages of procurement and pre-construction works.

Road Transport

Under the road sector, we opened the country’s first ‘landport,’ the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), a project that aims to regulate city bus flow and help ease metro traffic. Daily ridership has increased from 10,000 passengers in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 80,000 passengers by the third quarter of 2019. To date, the PITX has served a more than 14 million passengers.


Across the archipelago, seaports are being upgraded and rehabilitated to better serve the public. Currently, the DOTr has completed 243 commercial and social/tourism seaport projects, while 136 are ongoing.

Notable port projects include the construction of the country’s biggest Passenger Terminal Building at the Port of Cagayan de Oro, and the rehabilitation of Opol Port in Misamis Oriental, Sasa Port in Davao, Butuan Port in Agusan Del Norte, Tubigon Port in Bohol, Limasawa Port in Southern Leyte, and General Santos (Makar Wharf).

The country’s first barge terminal, the Cavite Gateway Terminal, which aims to reduce truck traffic on major roads and offer a cost-effective access to goods between Manila and Cavite through the waterways, had been built.

On maritime safety, as of November 2019, we have 560 out of 600 lighthouses operational nationwide.

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