Pilipinas hapit na madeklarang luwas sa FMD, matud ni Yap

SA dili madugay, makapagawas na ang Pilipinas sa mga hayupan human madeklara ang nasud nga luwas sa foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), butyga ni Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.

Kon matuman na, kini pay labing una nga higayon sa Pilipinas.

Matud ni Yap nga ang Visayas ug Mindanao una na nga nadeklara isip luwas sa FMD, ug mao nga Luzon na usab ang gitutokan sa kagamhanan nga madeklara nga wala nay FMD nag kasagarang motakboy sa baboy, kabaw ug baka.

Niini gibutyag nga usab niya ang plano nga pagpamaligya ug nga produkto sa hayopan gikan sa General Santos City ug Davao ngadto sa Singapore.

Uban sa laraw, buot ni Yap nga ikasabot ang pribadong sekto nga mamuhunan sa mga ihawan, refrigeration ug pasilidad sa pagproseso sa karne aron uswagon ang kahimtang sa nasud sa pangkalibutang palit sa hayupan. (rachiu/PIA)

ASEAN TO SIGN COMMON AIR TIES WITH CHINA, INDIA, JAPAN & KOREA

Member-countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is expected to sign a multilateral air agreement among themselves together with China, India, Japan and Korea, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Leandro Mendoza said.

Mendoza, together with Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Alfonso Cusi, issued the statement during the interview at the Bohol Beach Club in Panglao.

The President is set in lead the capsule-laying ceremony for the proposed Bohol-Panglao International Airport.

Mendoza said the Philippines and other ASEAN countries have agreed in principle to liberalize their skies with the possible signing of a “common air agreement” in December this year. Mendoza said ASEAN countries have also discussed with China, India, Japan and Korea the possibility of their joining in the regional air services grouping.

Cusi said ASEAN’s adoption of an open skies policy would ultimately lead to the creation of a single aviation market in the region by 2015, wherein the Philippines needs to further develop its air transport policy as well as upgrade existing facilities.

Mendoza and Cusi said that member-countries that include Malaysia and Thailand have already been developing airports with multiple runways to accommodate bigger traffic while the Philippines still has to develop one. (PIA/Bohol)

P4.17 B Panglao international airport projects starts

PANGLAO ISLAND, Bohol – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo launched the construction of the P4.17-billion Panglao-Bohol International Airport here to boost the tourism and trade potentials of this world-class destination province.

The President led the capsule-laying ceremony in Barangay Tawala assisted by Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Leandro Mendoza, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Alfonso Cusi, Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado, and Panglao Mayor Benedicto Alcala.

After the capsule-laying, the President was briefed by Cusi on the status of the project funded through MIAA’s P3-billion income and P1 billion from the DOTC.

Cusi informed the President that the international airport is targeted to be operational in the first quarter of 2010 and can accommodate one million passengers per year.

The President said no foreign loans were sourced in the construction of the Panglao International Airport as government revenue agencies have consistently exceeded their targets these past few years.

Upon completion of the project, the President said foreign tourists can now come directly and visit the famous destinations in Bohol that include the Chocolate Hills, a candidate in the Internet search for the New Seven Wonders of Nature, and Balicasag Island, a popular breathtaking dive site which she herself had a look.

The President said Bohol, the tenth largest island of the Philippines, is one of the tourism centers of the country. Located in the heart of the Visayas, it is famous for the tarsier, the world’s smallest primate; pristine beaches and dive spots, caves and crystal springs, ancestral homes, and centuries-old churches.

In an earlier interview, Cusi and Mendoza said the Panglao International Airport would not only cater to tourists and cargo but is expected to boost trade, investments and economic activity in Bohol as it would be a magnet for industrial parks and economic zones.

AMID CRITICISMS
The multi-billion key infrastructure project also merited a good number of critics, one which is led by University of the Philippines Professor of Economics Ernesto Pernia and long-time airport critic and former Panglao Municipal Tourism Committee Chairman Agustin Cloribel.

Working against time in efforts to at least stall or scrap the project, Boholanos for Truth, Accountability and Reform (BOTAR) posted a paid ad in a local paper daring the provincial leaders to clarify issues involving the project.

Questions raised against the plan are its economic viability, serious environmental concerns, perceived corruption and dirty politics.

Governor Aumentado however shrugged off all these assuring that everything has been in order and that the government is doing its best to put up mitigations to outweigh the environmental issues against the economic and social benefits Bohol and the entire region can get from it. (rachiu/PIA)