TAGBILARAN CITY – Finally, it’s a “go” for the Panglao Bohol International Airport.
Rep. Erico Aumentado (2nd District, Bohol) made the statement as the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) confirmed that the project is allocated P7.54 billion in its 2011 budget.
Other airports for expansion, rehabilitation and improvement have budget allocations under the 2011 budget of DOTC. They are the Puerto Princesa Airport in Palawan with P4.362 billion; Daraga International Airport in Albay, P3.07 billion; Kalibo Airport in Aklan, P1.54 billion; and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) Development Project, P8.03 billion.
The DOTC budget also has outlays for other projects that would boost travel and tourism like the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) expansion with outlay of P70 billion, LRT Line 2 East Extension Project, P11.3 billion; and the MRT 8, P51.45 billion.
DOTC Secretary Jose de Jesus made the confirmation during the hearing conducted by the powerful Committee on Appropriations of which Aumentado is a member.
He said the funding will jumpstart ground preparations for the runway with navigational facilities that include the tower and radar, as well as lighting facilities.
On the other hand, the income-generating components of the airport, namely – the terminal and the cargo buildings and the parking area will be constructed under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law or the public-private participation (PPP) initiatives as President Benigno Aquino III refers to it.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) had estimated that the government’s PPP initiative would require up to P739.78 billion in investments. It said the government will roll out next year 10 PPP projects requiring P127.8 billion.
Data from NEDA shows that 33 infrastructure projects with an indicative cost of P314.34 billion were identified for PPP in a road show that would be conducted on November 18 to 19.
As discussed during the House plenary debates, Aumentado said projects under the DOTC would require P87.29 billion, while those under the Departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and of Agriculture (DA) would need P188.05 billion and P39 billion, respectively.
During the defense of his department’s budget, de Jesus had thanked Aumentado for the suggestion to rebid the Panglao airport after no notice to proceed (NTP) was issued within three months following the initial bidding.
The Bohol solon made the suggestion to allay de Jesus’ fears that the non-issuance of NTP might riddle the project with technicalities.
He said de Jesus also reported that DOTC has completed the re-evaluation and re-assessment of the Panglao airport.
Aumentado also quoted de Jesus as saying that the department’s 2011 budget will also include an allocation for the improvement of the Ubay Airport. The former has been pushing for the improvement and the fencing of the runway preparatory for its use especially by flying schools based in nearby Cebu.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Chief Alfonso Cusi also attended the committee hearing, he said.