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P2.5 billion is allocated for airport modernization to increase employment: DBM

According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Thursday, around PHP2.5 billion has been set aside to upgrade major airports nationwide and contribute to creating new job opportunities in the nation.

Amenah Pangandaman, the budget secretary, stated that the proposed national budget for 2023 is in line with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s objective of enhancing the nation’s transportation infrastructure by allocating PHP2.5 billion to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for its Aviation Infrastructure Program.

“We wholeheartedly endorse the President’s direction to make infrastructure development a top priority in our pursuit of growth and jobs. In a news release, Pangandaman stated, “These include airports in the country. Kasama po ang airports o mga paliparan sa bansa.”

The DBM increased the DOTr’s budget under the planned 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP) to PHP167.1 billion, up 120.4 percent from the PHP75.8 billion the agency received in 2022.

The bulk of the planned PHP167.1 billion budget for 2023 will go into the DOTr’s expensive road and railway transportation projects, however, it will also go toward its aviation modernization initiatives.

The Aviation Infrastructure Program’s PHP2.48 billion budget allotment will be utilized to build, renovate, and enhance several airports throughout the nation.

The modernization of Pasay City’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Laoag International Airport, Tacloban City Airport, Antique Airport, and Bukidnon Airport are among the airport projects.

According to Pangandaman, the planned funding will also be utilized to pay for the upkeep and expansion of other transportation infrastructure projects related to the aviation industry.

Pangandaman stated that by allocating much-needed funds for the upkeep and modernization of our airports, “We help fulfill President Marcos’ command to Build, Better, More.”

Most of the proposed funding for the DOTr’s Aviation Infrastructure Program, or PHP1.42 billion, will go to Tacloban City Airport, Makati City Representative Luis Campos Jr., vice chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, had stated.

According to Campos, Laoag International Airport will receive PHP445 million, while Antique Airport, also known as Evelio Javier Airport, will receive PHP500 million.

According to Campos, Bukidnon Airport and NAIA would receive PHP80 million and PHP40 million, respectively.

Marcos stressed the significance of infrastructure development in the economy’s transition in the President’s Budget Message, particularly to spur the expansion of the agricultural, trade, and tourism sectors.

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