Tugade orders 24/7 work for Sangley Airport in Cavite

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 12) — An air base in Cavite province south of Metro Manila will undergo reconstruction 24/7 to serve domestic flights in line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte, a Cabinet official said Wednesday.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said he has requested for additional manpower and extended working hours for Sangley Airport’s reconstruction, the department said in a statement Wednesday. The new work schedule will be implemented on Thursday.

“Whatever it takes, we need to make sure that the directive of the President is delivered. Hire more manpower to work 24/7. Kailangan matapos ‘yan (we need to finish it) on or before the timeline set by President Duterte,” Tugade said.

Sangley Airport, also known as Danilo Atienza Air Base in Cavite City, has long been eyed for conversion into an international airport to ease congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Duterte, during Monday’s Cabinet meeting, said he wants the new airport to accommodate domestic flights beginning November. 

The chief executive’s directive came after he conducted a surprise inspection at the country’s main airport, where he approached and apologized to passengers for the flight delays and cancellations due to a lightning alert.

Authorities handling the Sangley Airport construction, meanwhile, reported that “critical developments” are “well underway.” These include the runway, apron, passenger terminal building, power supply, drainage system, and site development.