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State flying school executives claim transfer site 'flood prone'

MANILA, Philippines - Pressure is being exerted on officials of a state flying school in Pasay City to accept what they believe was an unacceptable relocation site already found to be prone to floods and “ground shaking” by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

Lawyer Gonzalo Duque, a member of the Philippine State College of Aeronautics (Philsca) board of trustees representing Senate committee on education chairman Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, said that he and his fellow members of the 11-man have been approached by some people wanting them to reconsider their position on the school’s transfer from their current 1.7 hectare campus along Andrews Avenue to a similar-sized tract of land along South Super Highway, also in Pasay.

“There are certain pressures already being extended,” Duque told Philsca officials and students in his speech as guest of honor at the school’s recognition day Friday. Duque exhorted the Philsca community to monitor developments on moves to transfer the school, especially any changes in position of all board of trustees, including himself.

Duque also urged students to pray for all the trustees so that they will make the right decision on the brewing issue. Duque said that personally, he was ready to resign from the board if he will be forced to make a decision that was against his principles and whose effect will be adverse to the interests of the Philsca’s 3,700 students.

Philsca officials are now fighting a move by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to transfer them a spanking new but unfortunately flood prone and “unstable” campus by the time the next school year opens this June.

The resistance of the school community to the transfer was buttressed by the DENR-MGB’s issuance of a geo-hazard report declaring the site of the new campus as flood prone as well as “prone to ground shaking.”

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Lawyer Carmelita Yadao-Sison, officer-in-charge of Philsca said that a geo-hazard assessment report of the DENR-MGB had validated previous concerns raised by Phisca officers about the flooding problem and earthquake faultline concerns on their proposed relocation site.

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