A substantial portion of the proposed P214.3-billion 2024 budget of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will support the country’s Build Better More Program, which is among the top priorities in the 8-point Socioeconomic Agenda of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.
This push on infrastructure development is aligned with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, and the country’s Medium Term Fiscal Framework.
President Bongbong Marcos, in his Budget Message, clearly emphasized the significance of increasing the DOTr’s funding from 2023, underlining the vital role of transportation policy in driving sustainable economic growth.
“𝘛𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘺 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩. 𝘏𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘶𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘺’𝘴 𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘤 𝘮𝘢𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘦 𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘸𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘶𝘥𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘖𝘛𝘳 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘗106.0 𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘍𝘠 2023 𝘎𝘈𝘈 𝘵𝘰 𝘗214.3 𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 2024,” said the President.
For her part, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman, who chairs the Development & Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), underscored the importance of sustaining the Build Better More Program by expanding infrastructure development.
“𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘻𝘦 𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘴 𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘥 𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘴, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘭𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘧 𝘰𝘳 43.5 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 [𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭] 𝘣𝘶𝘥𝘨𝘦𝘵. 𝘚𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺, 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘫𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘴 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘩-𝘚𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘩 𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘙𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘚𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘦𝘵𝘳𝘰 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘭𝘢 𝘚𝘶𝘣𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘗𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘐,” said Secretary Pangandaman.
A total of P176.4 billion of this funding will be directed towards the DOTr’s Public Sector Infrastructure budget, fostering high-impact infrastructure flagship public transport projects approved by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board, including the North-South Commuter Railway System and the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase I under the Rail Transport Program; the Land Public Transportation Program; and the Aviation and Maritime Infrastructure Programs of the DOTr.
𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗦𝘆𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗺𝘀
The Rail Transport Program will receive over 76.4% of the DOTr budget, facilitating the improvement and construction of modern railway systems. The investment will include projects such as the North-South Commuter Railway System, the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase I, LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension Project, the Philippine National Railways South Long Haul Project, and the MRT 3 Rehabilitation Project.
Among its projects is the development of the North-South Commuter Railway System (P76.3 billion), which will connect New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac to Calamba, Laguna; the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase I (P68.4 billion), which will consist of 15 stations from Valenzuela City to Pasay City; LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension Project (P4.7 billion), which will add 11 kilometers to the existing railway system; Philippine National Railways South Long Haul Project (P3.1 billion), which will reconstruct the PNR South Main Line; and the MRT 3 Rehabilitation Project (P2.9 billion).
The Land Public Transportation Program will receive P6.4 billion in FY 2024 for the following: Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (P1.0 billion) to upgrade transport services in Davao City; EDSA Busway Project (P909 million) to benefit 600,000 commuters per day; Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Project (P700 million) to decongest roads in Cebu City; Active Transport Bike Share System and Safe Pathways Program in Metropolitan Areas (P500 million) to construct more bike lanes and proper public transport stops; and EDSA Greenways Project (P263 million) to build safe walkways around Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, the Aviation Program focuses on modernizing and developing airports nationwide with an allocation of P6.1 billion. Investments include projects the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (P1.6 billion); Kalibo International Airport (P581 million); Laoag International Airport, (P500M); Tacloban Airport, (P500 million); Busuanga Airport, (P405M); New Zamboanga International Airport, (P300M); New Manila International Airport (P200M); Bukidnon Airport, P120M; New Dumaguete Airport Development Project (P500 million); and the New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Projects (NBACSEPP), P97 million.
To improve air traffic management, P1.3 billion will be allotted to the new Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) System Development Project. This will allow air traffic controllers to communicate more effectively with the latest technology.
The DOTr’s Maritime Infrastructure Program will receive P988 million, inclusive of P625 million for the Maritime Safety Enhancement Project, and P134 million for the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase I to improve response to maritime incidents and enhance the conduct of maritime law enforcement and security operations.