The Philippines’ Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) is set to receive $3.59bn (PHP13.3bn) under the 2015 budget to speed up repairs and rehabilitation at the country’s airports.
President of the Senate Franklin M Drilon said that the proposed budget will see additional funds of $92m (PHP4bn) over the current budget amount.
Drilon added that the plans include the rehabilitation of airports such as Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will improve their services, so that the country makes a good impression on the world leaders who will be visiting the country for the 2015 APEC Summit meetings.
Drilon said: "It is in the airports that visitors get their first and last impression of a country. It is therefore important that we make sure that the first and last thing people see when they visit the nation is the sight of an efficient and capable airport.
"Our improved airports will be a good boost to our international image when we host the APEC next year.
"That is why it is very critical that we make sure that the bidding process for the repair and rehabilitation projects will be efficient, and will avoid costly project delays or bureaucratic snags."
According to the National Expenditures Program (NEP), various airports will work on improving their overall facilities and work will be carried out in different phases.
The NAIA will work on its capacity expansion and maximisation with funds close to $13.6m (PHP592m).
Clark Airport will be provided with $27.6m (PHP1.20bn), while other airports to receive funds under the budget plans are Kalibo Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Busuanga Airport, General Santos Airport, Ozamis Airport, Calbayog Airport and Camarines Sur Airport in Naga.
Other major airports like Puerto Princesa Airport and Bicol International Airport will continue getting a funding of $35.65m (PHP1.55bn) from the Filipino Government in 2015.
Work will also continue on the New Bohol (Panglao) International Airport development project and the Laguindingan International.
Drilon added: "Among the plans of DOTC for 2015 are to increase the number of seats offered to the public by 5% next year or equivalent to 28 million domestic seats and 26 million international seats, and increase the number of operated routes to 85 from 84 this year for domestic routes and 81 from 79 for international routes."
The department aims to increase the number of domestic passengers to 21 million and that of international passengers to 18 million in 2015.