Story originally posted on PNA.
MANILA — The Philippine and Spanish governments are eyeing direct flights from Spain to regions outside Metro Manila.
Speaking at Saturday’s pilot episode of The Presser Weekend in Muntinlupa City, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said he met with Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Moragas on April 5 and explored opportunities where both countries can strengthen its economic ties through the local transportation sector.
“I just spoke to the Spanish Embassy yesterday, and I told him: ‘Mr. Ambassador, can you have the possibility of having a direct flight not only in Manila, but having a direct flight in Panglao to Madrid or Seville, or from Davao to Seville or Madrid’,” Tugade said in Filipino.
According to Tugade, Moragas said they will look into and talk about it.
He added that he wants concrete actions to pursue the plan to benefit overseas Filipino workers.
“You know, that direct flight, it has a bilateral contract. It cannot be that when we agree, that’s it, just because there’s a panel, a partnership. It would be great if it will push through. If there’s a direct flight from Davao, direct flight from Panglao going to to Spain, it will be good for our overseas Filipino workers,” he said.
The DOTr has embarked on a multi-airport strategy to catalyze economic development in the regions outside Metro Manila.
The government had already inaugurated the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and the New Bohol Airport. It is also developing the Sangley Airport, Bulacan International Airport, and the expansion of the Clark International Airport, among others.
Spain, Tugade said, is also looking to participate in the bidding of transportation projects such as the the Malolos-Clark Railway Light Rail Transit-1 (LRT-1) extension project.
One thing that they’re looking at is how they can join the bidding of the Phase 2 of the Malolos-Clark Railway.
“We also talked about their involvement in the LRT-1 extension. Ako ang nagpasok niyan,” he said.
The 53-kilometer Malolos-Clark segment is the second phase of the North-South Commuter Rail (NSCR), which will connect to the 38-kilometer NSCR Phase I Tutuban-Malolos line. The project is jointly financed by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Meanwhile, the LRT-1 Extension Project meanwhile adds another 11.7 kilometers to the existing 10.7-kilometer railway. The extension will start from Baclaran, and will traverse Paranaque, Las Pinas, and Bacoor, Cavite.
Secretary Tugade also noted that there were also other bilateral partners interested to participate in local transportation projects such as China and Korea, but declined to give details.
Meanwhile, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Martin M. Andanar said the government’s work is a continuing process of summarizing, simplifying, and satisfying the fundamental need to inform.
“We remove ambiguity, we clarify the obscure, we correct the false, we extol the truth. We drive hard objective realities of achievements and shortcomings. We do not fascinate, neither do we compromise. We press. This is a commitment of the pressers. May this occupation be the responsibility of all,” Andanar said in his closing remarks.
The Presser’s pilot episode was organized by PCOO’s Office of the Global Media Affairs which is is tasked to connect Philippine government policymakers with the international media, and promote priority policy messages through engagements with foreign audiences. (PCOO)