THE PRE-BIDDING conference for the construction, rehabilitation and expansion of seven airports next month is a welcome step toward government’s campaign to enhance Philippine tourism through infrastructure development, Malacañang said Friday.
Open to all parties, the conference will be held next Friday, June 22, at the DOTC Conference Room, 16th Floor, The Columbia Tower, Mandaluyong City, according to a statement by the Department of Transportation and Communications.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said at a press briefing the DOTC initiative specifically intends to improve passenger and airport traffic handling. This would open up areas for tourism and grow commerce in the country.
“The infrastructure package amounting to P303 million is a welcome boost for the mprovement of Philippine transportation facilities,” she noted.
Such initiative would help encourage the flow of foreign and domestic visitors, the Palace official said.
Valte also said better airports would address current problems plaguing the airline industry.
“This goes hand-in-hand with the balancing of interests between carriers and the flying public by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) regarding overbooking and ticket refunds,” she said.
While the industry standard for overbooking is 10 percent, a new CAB directive limits this to a maximum of 5 percent. Moreover, rebooking and refunding for all fares, including low-cost fares, have also been allowed.
She said the changes are part of a systematic, overarching initiative of the DOTC to develop a more comprehensive Passenger Bill of Rights that efficiently addresses the air transport-related concerns of the public.
“… [T]he Aquino administration continues to make strides in improving the country’s infrastructure and in reforming transportation regulations, to better affirm the vitality exhibited by our growing economy,” Valte noted.
'A welcome boost'
“The infrastructure package amounting to P303 million is a welcome boost for the improvement of Philippine transportation facilities,” she added.
Included in the package are the Butuan Airport in Agusan del Sur, Cotabato City Airport in
Maguindanao, Dipolog Airport in Zamboanga del Norte, Pagadian Airport in Zamboanga del Sur, Sanga-Sanga Airport in Tawi-Tawi, Maasin Airport in Southern Leyte, and San Vicente Airport in Palawan.
Documents released by the DOTC spelled out partial details of each project:
Butuan City’s P45.5-million airport development entails expanding the apron or docking bay and car park, constructing a drainage system and a concrete hollow-block fence.
The P58.1-million Cotabato airport development calls for widening its runway and taxiway. It supports the program to make North Cotabato a strategic link to the major “Arterial Road System” which connects the province to the Davao City-SOCCSKSARGEN-Cotabato corridor. The road system also connects the Cotabato via Kabacan-Maramag-Kibawe, Bukidnon Sayre Highway linking the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan City corridor.
The P55.2-million Dipolog airport development covers labor, materials, and equipment supply to complete the passenger terminal building. Dipolog is the one of the busiest air terminals in Mindanao.
The P42-million Pagadian Airport project seeks to improve its facilities to accommodate both commercial and private aircraft. The project will also extend the runway, widen the taxiway, rehabilitate and improve the passenger terminal building, improve and expand the car park area, and build a drainage system and a perimeter fence.
Tawi-Tawi’s P63.9-million Sanga-Sanga airport project in Bongao needs to have a new terminal building, expand its apron, and build a drainage system.
The airport in Maasin, Leyte, needs major improvements accommodate commercial flights. Part of the project to support local government initiatives on tourism initiatives is to extend the runway and clear a hill obstructing air traffic.
The P62.7-million San Vicente Airport development requires a passenger terminal, fire station building, and an elevated 2,500-gallon water tank. Its runway also needs to be extended with a slope protection, and a hill obstruction removed. (GMA News)