New airport to rise in Bicol

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11:29 PM July 23rd, 2012

By: Ana G. Roa, July 23rd, 2012 11:29 PM

MANILA, Philippines–The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Investment Coordination-Cabinet Committee has approved the construction of a new airport in Daraga, Albay.

The Neda ICC-CabCom approved the Bicol International Airport Project in a meeting on July 12, when the Cavite-Laguna Expressway Project was also given the go-ahead.

The new airport, described as a Principal Class 1 airport of international standards, will replace the existing Legazpi Airport, which is hampered by limitations and safety concerns.

Funding for the project, which was estimated to cost P4.799 billion, will come from the budget of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).

“The project aims to improve the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations through the construction of a new airport in Albay that meets international standards and practices, and enhance the accessibility of tourism destinations in the Bicol Region,” Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said in a statement.

The project also involves the construction of landside and airside facilities, passenger and cargo terminal buildings and related facilities; installation of security and navigational aids equipment; preparation of detailed engineering design, and acquisition of land for the airport compound.

In the meantime, the ICC-CabCom in a separate meeting on July 3 approved proposed expansion of scope and cost adjustments or loan validity extension of four ongoing government projects.

With the expanded project scope for the Bridge Construction-Replacement Project, the total cost will increase to P4.97 billion from P3.186 billion. The project will receive a supplementary loan from Deutsche Bank S.A.E. under a Spanish Export Credit facility.

At the same time, the implementation period of the project will be extended from January 2012 to December 2015 while the list of bridges covered under the project will be modified.

The cost of the Saudi Fund for Development-assisted Mindanao Roads Improvement Project will also increase to P3.91 billion, P2.197 billion, and the implementation of the project will be moved from Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2014.

Other approved requests include the 24-month loan validity extension for the Laguindingan Airport Development Project of the DOTC and the extension and reallocation of Support for Strategic Local Development and Investment Project (SSLDIP) of Land Bank of the Philippines.

The DOTC sought for a two-year extension of the Korean Export-Import Bank loan and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund counterpart for the Laguindingan Airport project.

The project schedule was revised to accommodate activities for the air navigation component of the Lagundingan Airport. This component is targeted for completion in September 2013 for the airport to start operating by December of the same year.

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