By CARLO SUERTE FELIPE
October 15, 2011, 8:01pm
MANILA, Philippines — Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) Secretary Mar A. Roxas II said by the end of 2012, a new gateway to Mindanao will be opened once the P7.8-billion Laguindingan international airport in Misamis Oriental is completed.
Roxas said the construction of the airport is currently ongoing with no delays so far. The airport will be the northern counterpart of the Davao International Airport, which is located in the southern part of Mindanao.
The project is funded by the Economic Development and Cooperation Fund of Korea, with a $30.60 million share; the Export Credit Loan Facility of the Korea Export-Import Bank (KEXIM), with a $62.75 million contribution; and the Philippine government with a $60.36 million counterpart fund.
Relatedly, the construction of the Air Navigation and Support Facilities is estimated to cost $13.38 million.
Upon completion, the Laguindingan Airport will be transferred to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
The operation and maintenance contract of the terminal facilities will be bidded out to the private sector in the first quarter of 2012.
Languindingan Airport is one of four airport projects under the DoTC Greenfield Program. The other three airports are located in Bohol, Puerto Princesa, and New Legaspi.
Roxas said President Benigno S. Aquino III is currently interested on where to establish a new airport in Bohol — whether at the existing airport in Tagbilaran or at Panglao Island. The project’s estimated cost is P8 billion.
“The President wants to be frugal and cost-effective in using the people’s money. So he wants to determine whether it is better to expand the Tagbilaran airport by 700 meters versus building 2,500 meters in Panglao. The cost of the terminal is the same. The avionics will be the same. At the end of all of this, Bohol will get its modern facility,” he said
Roxas explained that if the project would push through in Panglao island, the airport will have to be built from scratch. If it will be in Tagbilaran, the existing airport will be extended. The feasibility study on the project is said to be due this November.
On the other hand, the feasibility study on the P4.2 billion Puerto Princesa airport is expected to be completed by the end of the last quarter of this year. Through an Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund, Koreans have expressed willingness to fund the air and land components of the project. The $71 million cost will be payable over 40 years with an annual interest of 0.1 percent.
The proposed international airport in Legaspi is to replace the existing airport to maximize tourism potential of the beaches and whale-watching sites in Caramoan, Camarines Sur and Donsol, Sorsogon respectively. An ODA fund will finance the construction of facilities, runway, apron, and terminals.