Cebu’s Terminal 2: A beautiful airport
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - June 12, 2018 - 12:00am

Our historical files tell us that today is the 120th celebration of Philippine Independence, that’s if we accept what then Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo did to declare Philippine Independence on the 12th of June 1898. But for my generation, we always celebrated Philippine Independence Day on the 4th of July (1946) when the American Flag was lowered and the United Nations (UN) accepted Philippine sovereignty.

But it is very unfortunate that our Filipino leaders accepted the Independence that Gen. Aguinaldo did in his house when he raised the Philippine Flag there 120 years ago. For the record, 120 years ago there were no sovereign government that accepted our call for independence, unlike when the Americans lowered their flag on the 4th of July in 1946 where the whole world accepted our Independence Day.

I was still having my Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) during that time when on July 4th we would have parades to commemorate our Independence Day. But we live in a country where politicians can easily meddle or change our history. So today we celebrate the Independence Day done by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. But in my book, Gen. Aguinaldo will always remind me of how ugly our politics have become when he ended up killing his political rival, Gat Andres Bonifacio. We pray that someday our politicians would show their love for their country and people in all their endeavors.

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Last Thursday was a huge day for Cebuanos and for all Filipinos in the sense that it was the formal blessing of the 65,500 square meters Terminal 2 with no less than Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet secretaries proudly showing up for the nation’s latest International Airport Terminal. This terminal will finally open for public use on June 22 thus giving the Metro Cebu International Airport (MCIA) additional space, making Terminal 2 exclusive for our International Airport, while the present MCIA becomes a domestic terminal, which the GMR-Megawide Consortium would be fixing with its new international standards.  

It was also the first time I met with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and I was able to thank him for the final approval of the brand new International Container Port (ICP) in Consolacion, (10 km north of Cebu City) which was a project then of my old friend, Cebu Port Authority (CPA) General Manager Jake Marquez. This new port gives Cebu a chance to improve its container port facilities and there was even a suggestion to move all Cebu to Manila ferry shipping to that area which would mean a huge savings in the sense that the ferryboats no longer need to go around the Island of Mactan and dock in the Port of Cebu.

With this new Terminal 2 and an incoming new container port, Cebu has a very solid future ahead under the Duterte Presidency. Of course we will have to fix our road systems to ensure that we would have lesser traffic in the future. Incidentally, it was the first time for me to meet Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade. While we have a lot of things to talk about, unfortunately, I forgot to discuss with him about the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) that supposedly the DOTr isn’t supporting. I really could not understand why then Pres. Benigno Aquino didn’t give the BRT its much-needed approval. So Cebu really lost six years of the BRT from the Aquino Presidency, thus further delaying the BRT project. 

Unfortunately, while the Cebuano community and the media were all one in congratulating our new airport Terminal 2, I couldn’t help but notice on page 10 of The Freeman last Friday, the day after the airport blessing was done, came up with an article entitled, “This is what Mayor Osmeña said vs. what his partymate said.” It was really two comments from partymates, Mayor Osmeña and Rep. Raul del Mar on the new Airport Terminal 2. Mayor Osmeña said, “It’s ugly and looks like a poultry farm, the design I think they should transfer to Bantayan because this is where the poultry products are abundant.” Apparently the Freeman got this remark from Mayor Osmeña that SunStar published last Dec. 23, 2013.

Last May 27, 2018, The Freeman got this quote from Rep. Raul del Mar who said, “It will be a delight to our domestic travellers to be able to also experience the same standards as those of Terminal 2. Cebuanos and all Filipinos will undoubtedly be filled with pride for this is an outstanding accomplishment.” I understand that the majority of Cebu’s broadcast media took turns in lambasting Mayor Osmeña. From day one, his brother Sen. Serge Osmeña III questioned this airport deal, giving full support to the Filinvest group. So the least we expected from Mayor Tomas was to be civil about it.

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