Regional airport projects hit by delays
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - July 5, 2018 - 12:00am

Capas, Tarlac, Philippines — Various airport projects like the planned inauguration of Bohol Panglao International Airport next month and the rehabilitation of the Surigao Airport have been hit with delays, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the inauguration of the Bohol Panglao International Airport that was initially for August has been moved to October.

“Actually we have announced that this will be commercially operational by August, but because of the weather and some details we have to finalized with three airlines, we are moving the schedule from August to mid-October,” Tugade said.

“Still, expect Panglao to be operational before the end of this year,” he said.

The airport, which would replace the Tagbilaran Airport, will serve as the premiere gateway to the province of Bohol once operational.

It is expected to accommodate two million passengers in its opening year alone as compared to the Tagbilaran Airport which caters to 800,000 passengers.

Meanwhile, Tugade said the DOTr is also pushing through with the completion of the rehabilitation of the Surigao airport which was damaged by a 6.7-magnitude quake that hit Surigao del Norte last year.

“Rehabilitation is just a little bit delayed because at a certain point, the fund was supposed to come from one agency so we have to wait. The fund did not come from us. It came from the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council). So it was delayed because of the delay in the source of fund, it took several months,” he said.

Tugade said the fund is now with the DOTr and the rehabilitation of the airport is ongoing.

“We are trying to do a catch up plan so that the improvement and the completion of renovation of the Surigao airport will be done within a reasonable time,” he said.

Tugade said he expects the rehabilitation to be completed in the next six to eight months.

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