Tacloban Airport upgrade facing ‘slight delay’ -CAAP
MANILA -The Marcos administration is “speeding up” planned upgrades that are meant to transform the Tacloban Airport, also known as the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport, into an international gateway amid reported delays.
Improvements at the eastern Visayas hub, named after the late politician Daniel Z. Romualdez, the late uncle of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., were previously set to be completed by 2025.
However, the Department of Transportation and Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) said in a statement that parts of the project, including plans for a new passenger terminal building, were behind schedule.
CAAP director general Manuel Antonio Tamayo said the “slight delay” was due to revisions at the terminal’s roofing, arch finishes and access ramp. These changes were approved last Sept. 19.
“We would like to assure the people of Tacloban that the DOTr and CAAP are moving fast to guarantee that the construction of the airport (is completed) as soon as possible,” Tamayo said.
Moreover, the so-called plan of work for the passenger terminal was up for approval.
The submission of bids is scheduled for Oct. 10 this year, the statement showed. Construction is expected to start in December 2023 with completion seen after two years or by December 2025.
The government also plans to extend the runway at Tacloban Airport, the seventh busiest in the Philippines, to allow the gateway to accommodate larger aircraft such as Airbus A330s, thus opening it up to bigger international tourism prospects.
The government said an estimated P238 million was needed to acquire eight hectares of land around the airport to extend its runway from 2.1 kilometers to 2.5 km.
“The acquisition process is expected to be completed by December 2024,” the statement showed.
The DOTr and CAAP statement also pointed to required approvals of the national budget for some of the upgrades.
“[U]nder the 2024 National Expenditure Program, an additional P500 million funding for the continuation of the strip width correction will be bid out in the fourth quarter of 2023 or once the 2024 General Appropriations Act has been approved,” the statement showed.