BIDDING for Panglao airport phase one finally opens this month, reports transportation Undersecretary and former city Mayor Jose Torralba in a radio interview.
Torralba, who is manning the airport project management office here said the multi-sectoral consultative meeting held last Tuesday at the Bohol Beach Club was the last procedural requirement needed to seal the fate of the airport’s initial construction phase.
The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Investment Coordinating Committee initially nodded to the project even after consultants proposed drastic changes leading to major project funding realignments.
With the changes, the entire project bloated to nearly double its initial cost, needing the NEDA ICC nod anew to use the early appropriations of P4.2B to fund the initial phase of the airport project.
The project go-signal was on the condition that Bohol provincial government conducts another multisectoral consultation to address ecological or environmental issues, Usec Torralba explained..
Moreover, the preconditions also include that Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) conducts value engineering of the project and that budget cover be issued to the Department of Transportation and Communications by the Department of Budget and Management.
The recent multi-sectoral meeting in Panglao churned out the resolutions, which would engage the NEDA to finally green-light phase one of the project.
Phase one of the project comprises the construction of the airport’s 2.5 kilometer runway and its lighting facilities.
This phase also uses up the funds NEDA has earlier earmarked for the entire project, explains Gov. Erico Aumentado, weeks back.
From the initial P4.27 billion, the total total project now costs P7.54 billion.
The project cost blew up due to increase of item prices and quantity, design modification and additional acquisition of 14.5 hectares of land.
The Panglao airport project aims to develop a new airport facility in Panglao Island, Bohol to comply with domestic and international standards for operational safety and efficiency.
It also envisions to open up the entire region (Region VII) to more economic activities and to enhance the tourism potential of Bohol province. (PIA)