The Department of Transportation (DOTr) was one of the government agencies established under the Malolos Constitution on January 21, 1899.
It is the primary policy, planning, programming, coordinating, implementing and administrative entity of the executive branch of government on the promotion, development and regulation of a dependable and coordinated network of transportation systems, as well as in the fast, safe, efficient and reliable transportation services.
The DOTr plays a crucial role in accelerating the country’s economic development. It provides the backbone for growth and enhances the country’s competitive edge by providing effective and efficient transportation infrastructure systems that narrow the geographical and physical divide, connecting the country, its islands and its people to the rest of the world.
Full speed ahead
AS IT celebrates its 124th founding anniversary, DOTr has committed to go full speed ahead to provide safe, accessible, comfortable, affordable transportation system for the Filipino people.
“Since its dawn up to now, the DOTr has been indefatigable in its thrust towards delivering a fast, safe, affordable, comfortable and accessible transportation system across the country through the realization of the much-needed transport infrastructure projects, programs and initiatives,” DOTr said in a statement posted on its website to celebrate the occasion.
“With its one vision and mission as its wellspring, the department, under the captaincy of Secretary Jaime Bautista, is strongly driven to BUILD, BETTER MORE for the overall welfare, benefit and comfort of the riding public,” the statement continued.
Under the management of the DOTr are four sectors that cover the various projects being handled by the department. These sectors are Road Transport and Infrastructure; Railways Sector; Aviation and Airport Sector and the Maritime Sector.
ONE of the projects under Road Transport and Infrastructure Sector is the EDSA Busway. Bautista has vowed to continue improving the EDSA Busway operations to better serve the riding public. He added that improving the operations along the busiest thoroughfares in Metro Manila must conform to international standards.
“The DOTr will continue to improve the services and infrastructure of the EDSA Busway. The EDSA Busway must conform to international standards. There’s a lot to do here,” Bautista said during the opening of the Tramo Station of the EDSA Busway last December 28, 2022.
The Tramo Station is the fourth EDSA Busway station opened since July 1, 2022. In August, two busway stations were opened – the Roxas Boulevard and Taft Avenue Busway stations.
In November 2022, the DOTr opened the One Ayala Terminal that will serve as the Ayala Station for the EDSA Busway. The bus station is part of a transport hub, offering three terminals that serve South-bound buses, PUVs, and modern jeepneys that can accommodate over 300,000 passengers daily.
EACH of the three bays of the One Ayala EDSA Busway station can simultaneously accommodate nine buses on queue, totaling 27 buses. The terminal facility is also equipped with restrooms, ample queuing area, seats for PWDs, senior citizens and pregnant women and bike racks.
Passengers who are northbound will have access to the station through the McKinley-Ayala Footbridge which is directly connected to the 2nd Floor of One Ayala Avenue.
Bautista cited the increase in the volume of passengers patronizing the EDSA Busway as one of the reasons in improving its efficiency.
“As more passengers are being catered by the busway system, we need to improve its efficiency,” he said.
Dedicated median lane
A JOINT undertaking of the DOTr, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the EDSA Busway features the use of a dedicated median lane for buses with stations built at the median island, allowing for more efficient travel by avoiding conflict with connecting streets, driveways, commercial centers and curbside drop-off points.
The busway system has 17 median stations, four temporary curbside stations and an integrated terminal exchange (ITX).
The EDSA Busway system has reduced travel time from the Mall of Asia in Pasay City to Monumento in Caloocan from two to three hours down to only one hour and 30 minutes.
As of December 2022, the EDSA Busway Project has been catering to an average of 389,579 passengers daily.
Other active projects under Road Transport and Infrastructure are Service Contracting Program; Active Transportation; PUV Modernization; EDSA Greenways; Cebu Bus Rapid Transit; Davao High Priority Bus System; Integrated Terminals; Automated Fare Collection; Improvement of Service of the Land Transportation Office and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board; Intensified I-ACT Operations and Expressway Projects.
ONE of the projects under the Railways Sector is the Metro Manila Subway Project. Tunneling and excavation work started on January 9, 2023 for the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMPS) and, according to Bautista, signified the DOTr’s “point of no return” to complete the country’s first-ever underground railway system.
“The start of tunneling work signifies the point of no return. We are going full speed ahead to complete the country’s first subway,” Bautista said during the launching of the MMSP’s tunnel boring machine (TBM). He was joined by President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. during the launch in Valenzuela City.
With this, actual construction for the MMSP will start as it will set in motion the operation and initiate its movement for excavation.
Bautista stressed the value of interconnectivity of the country’s various transport infrastructure and said that there is an “urgent need” to provide a railway station at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) especially during the holiday rush.
“During the recent holiday rush when I inspected NAIA Terminal 3, I discovered the urgent need to provide a railway station as one of the multi-modal land-based transport options for arriving passengers,” he explained.
Seven civil work contracts
THE MMSP’s Contract Package 101 (CP 101) is part of the seven civil work contracts of the project, and involves the construction of three underground stations in Quezon City and an additional semi-underground station in the northern-most part of the Valenzuela City depot.
Six TBM units will be utilized for CP 1010 to complete the excavation for the tunnels and will use a top-down construction method for the construction of the stations.
Around 1.2 million cubic meters of soil using cut-cover and the TBMs are to be excavated for the partial operability (PO) section of the project or the equivalent of 500 Olympic size swimming pools. For the tunnels alone, the excavation will be around 711,000 cubic meters or the equivalent of 285 Olympic size swimming pools.
The entire alignment will have a total excavated soil of about 7.42 million cubic meters or the equivalent of 2,500 Olympic size swimming pools.
Billed as the Philippines’ “Crown Jewel” of mass transit system, the MMSP will cut across eight cities that will stretch from Valenzuela City to FTI-Bicutan in Parañaque City with a spur line to NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City.
Other projects under the Railway Sector are the LRT-1 Cavite Extension, re-opening of LRT-1 Roosevelt Station; LRT-2 Libreng Sakay for Students Program; MRT Line 7; MRT Line 3; MRT Line 4; MRT and PNR Oplan Balik Eskwela; common station; North South Commuter Railway System – Malolos to Tutuban (N1), Malolos to Clark (N2) and Manila to Calamba (N1); PNR South Long Haul; Mindanao Railway and Subic-Clark Railway and secured funding for the feasibility studies for additional railway projects in Bataan, Cagayan and Panay.
Clark International Airport
UNDER the Aviation and Airport Sector is the Clark International Airport. According to President Marcos, the opening of the New Terminal Building of the Clark International Airport in Clark Freeport in Pampanga last December 2022 is a strong signal that the Philippines is open for business.
Marcos pointed out that the Philippines is an ideal place to invest and the government is ready to go the extra mile to nurture strong partnerships with potential investors wanting to put their money in the country.
“The simple message that underlay all that we did was that the Philippines is here, we are a good place to invest, we are probably the most vibrant economy in Southeast Asia and we understand the requirements and the needs of our potential investors, and we will do everything so that that partnership becomes to the advantage of both the private sector, the public sector, to the people.” Marcos said during the opening.
“And this facility is essentially a very strong signal that yes, indeed, we are open for business. We just opened a new terminal. It is state-of-the-art, and this is one of the things that we will continue to do in the future to bring you all to come and be partners with the Philippines to help the lives of our people to help the Philippine economy and para pagandahin ang buhay ng Pilipino, para pagandahin naman natin ang Pilipinas,” the President added.
The opening of the 110,000 square-meter new terminal building is part of an effort to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for safer and efficient travel, the facility was built to accommodate around eight million passengers every year, an improvement from the previous 4.2 million passengers a year.
It is also projected to create more jobs, promote vibrant tourism and advance socioeconomic activities in Central Luzon.
Other projects under the Aviation and Airport Sector are the New Dumaguete Airport; New Manila (Bulacan) International Airport; upgrading and expansion of airports in Bohol-Panglao, Laguindingan, Bicol, Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, Davao, Bacolod, Kalibo, and Siargao under PPP.; turnover of the management of six airports to BARMM; NAIA Development PPP.
Modernization of Coast Guard
UNDER the Maritime Sector, Bautista vowed the continued comprehensive modernization of the assets and manpower of the Philippine Coast Guard. He said the DOTr will push for the PCG’s acquisition of assets and equipment as well as the inclusion of its officers in world-class educational programs.
“The Transportation Department will always support the continued modernization of the Coast Guard. We will continue to help the Coast Guard in pursuing their comprehensive modernization program,” Bautista said during the annual PCG New Year’s Call.
“Given the inherently international nature of shipping and maritime transportation, attendance in world-class educational programs from these prestigious institutions should not be taken for granted,” he added.
Apart from modern assets and well-trained personnel, Bautista called on the PCG’s role in the collective goal of providing accessible, affordable and safe transportation for all Filipinos.
Other projects under the Maritime Sector include Pasig River Ferry System; New Cebu International Port Project; Protection of Philippine territorial integrity and maritime entitlements; island connectivity through construction of various ports; adoption of compliance with international maritime instruments; enactment of maritime laws; updating a 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan; Maintaining the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) as a premiere maritime school of the country; strengthening maritime transport security; lowering the logistics cost and enhancing cold logistics chain and development of a comprehensive port master plan.
“The DOTr remains relentless and unstoppable to fast-track the completion of transportation infrastructure projects and programs. As we march towards one vision and mission to build better more for the Filipino people,” the DOTr anniversary statement said.