DoTC readies P160M airport upgrade planBy Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The government has approved P160 million worth of upgrades for three key provincial airports as part of ongoing efforts to improve countryside infrastructure.
In bid invitation published Monday, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) said the civil works for airports in San Vicente, Palawan; Kalibo, Aklan; and Sanga-Sanga, Tawi-Tawi, would include mostly airside development and terminal facility improvements.
“These airport development projects are in support of the huge potential of tourism in the country’s economy, and in the more important goal of creating jobs and livelihood opportunities for the people,” the DoTC said.
The country’s tourism sector continues to boom. From January to May of this year, visitor arrivals rose almost 14 percent to more than 1.8 million tourist arrivals compared with over 1.6 million visitors for the same period in 2011.
Last year, a record 3.7 million foreign tourists visited the country, and all indications show that the country is on its way to achieving the projected 4.6 million tourist arrivals by yearend.
A big chunk of the budget for this batch of airport upgrades will go to the new airport in San Vicente. About P72.35 million is allocated for the completion of a runway extension, concrete paving of the runway, and hill obstruction removal in the municipality in Palawan.
This represents another phase in the airport development in San Vicente. A month ago, the DoTC also announced bidding for the construction of a new passenger terminal building in the same area.
San Vicente is highly touted as the next big tourist destination in the Philippines, the DoTC said. Apart from its proximity to El Nido, San Vicente also boasts of a 14-kilometer stretch of white-sand beach.
About P59.5 million was earmarked for the Kalibo International Airport Development Project, one of the busiest airports in the country.
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