Runway, navigation facility first, airport hub on B-O-T

NOTHING gets on the way with Bohol development, local officials have tersely stressed.

Behind the building belief that the Panglao Bohol International Airport (PBIA) Project is now doomed to crash before it could even take off, local officials and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo again whipped a wise formula to keep the P7.6 billion project taxiing.

This week, the National Economic Development Authority is set to flick on the green light to rev on the use of the P4.2B it initially okayed for the 2.5 kilometer PBIA airport runway, control tower and lighting and navigation facilities, relayed Governor Erico Aumentado during his weekly radio program.

With the airport facility and its allied infrastructure now nearly doubling from its initial P4.2B feasibility study cost, PGMA nodded to the construction of the 2.5 kilometer runway and the installation of the lighting and navigation facilities, in a meeting with Bohol officials and funding agencies last week.

The president also directed Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General manager Alfonso Cusi to immediately go for the runway, control tower and navigation facilities construction, which can be funded by the ready P4.2B, the same being well within the budget.

At the weekly Governor’s Reports, Aumentado told Boholanos Friday that National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Augusto Santos has already received the MIAA letter last October 7, upon orders of the president, asking them to immediately green light the project using the P4.2B which NEDA has approved earlier.

He also reported that NEDA, through Sec. Santos is set to flick the switch for the bidding anytime within the week.

Over this, the governor added that the MIAA has already studied the terms of reference on the bidding of the runway, tower, lighting and airport navigational facilities.

With this, the bidding of the project is set to begin this week and the projects engineering works to be awarded as soon before the real groundbreaking this December, the governor assured.

The MIAA initially vowed P3.2 billion while the Department pf Transportation and Communication pushed across the table P1 billion for the P4.2 billion facility set to be constructed in the southwestern part of Panglao town.

As for the remaining structures that could not be funded anymore, Aumentado, during the meeting with the President at the Bahay Pangarap presented his formula.

The last term governor proposed that the terminal building of the facility be put on a build-operate-transfer scheme, where he mentioned interested private contractors willing to put up the funds.

With the win-win formula, Aumentado and President Arroyo has again showed how skillful negotiations can push for projects which can be economically beneficial to the Visayas super-region. (PIA)

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