Gov’t eyes dev’t of 7 provincial airportsBy Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The government plans to develop seven more provincial airports in line with efforts to open more cities around the country to commercial flights.
This is part of the Aquino administration’s goal to spur economic activity and accelerate gross domestic product (GDP) growth by supporting local tourism.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) on Thursday published its invitation for interested parties to bid for the contract to expand six existing airports and build an entirely new facility in different provinces around the country. The development of the seven airports is expected to cost P303 million.
The deadline for submission of bids and the opening of these bids has been set for July 5.
The newest airport being eyed is the San Vicente Airport in Palawan province. The airport project is expected to “sustain the development of tourism in the area,” the DoTC said in its invitation.
San Vicente is a first-class municipality located about 186 kilometers north of the provincial capital of Puerto Princesa. Like many areas in Palawan, San Vicente has several white-sand beaches, but its popularity remains modest due to its inaccessibility.
The government approved a budget of P62.7 million for the construction of a terminal building and a runway in San Vicente.
Also, airports in Butuan, Agusan del Sur; Cotabato City; Dipolog, Zamboanga; Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur; Sanga-Sanga, Tawi-Tawi; and Maasin, Southern Leyte, are up for improvements.
The Butuan airport serves 385,000 passengers annually. Improvements will include the expansion of its apron, improvement of its parking area, and the construction of a drainage system and concrete wall surrounding the facility. These are expected to cost P45.5 million.
The Cotabato airport will get P58.1 million for the widening of its runway and the construction of a new perimeter fence, while the Dipolog facility will get P55.2 million for a new passenger terminal.
In Pagadian, the passenger terminal building will be rehabilitated, while its runways will be widened, the DoTC said. The project cost has been pegged at P42 million.
The Sanga-Sanga airport will get P63.9 million for the construction of a new passenger terminal building.
The Maasin airport is set to get a new runway strip that will allow it to accommodate commercial flights for the first time.
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