DOTr conducted a series of inspections at various airports and seaports in Batanes

In response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to attend to the needs of the people of Batanes, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Composite Team, led by Secretary Arthur Tugade, conducted a series of inspections at various airports and seaports in Batanes yesterday, 29 July 2019, after two consecutive earthquakes hit the province on Saturday.


Upon arrival, Secretary Tugade, together with a survey team from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), led the inspection at the Itbayat Airport which has an ongoing runway extension project, to look into the airport's runway extension viability and determine how long can the runway be further extended.

After inspecting the airport, the team proceeded to check the seaports. The first stop was the Mauyen Port, which upon inspection, will be closed for repair due to damages incurred caused by the earthquake. The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) was tasked to recommend another location for the port.

This was followed by a visit to the Valanga Port, which is used as the main port to transport people and goods to Itbayat Island. Upon inspection, it was recommended that it should provide additional backup area, berthing facility and passenger shed.

Afterwards, the team inspected the Basco Port where the backup area was damaged not by the quake but by the recent typhoon, Falcon. As an immediate move, the PPA will send a structural engineer to assess, evaluate the damage and will study the location of the proposed breakwater for the port.

Secretary Tugade and the team also visited the affected residents of the earthquake and checked structures like the Itbayat Church and some ancestral homes in Batanes.

At Basco Airport, Secretary Tugade met with Governor Marilou Cayco and committed to extend the runways at both the Basco and Itbayat airports. To further assist, two engineers from CAAP will be situated in Batanes to conduct situation assessment and another set of CAAP personnel will be arriving in Itbayat.

The DOTr and CAAP are jointly finalizing plans and designs to further extend the runway of the Basco Airport by 120 meters, which is subject to the verification by a survey that will examine terrain and slope grade constraints.

Further, Secretary Tugade affirmed that repairs at various ports will come immediately with his directive to the PPA to provide swift solutions. Secretary Tugade also committed that the Philippine Coast Guard will be deploying rubber boats to Itbayat, Basco and Sabang Islands.

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