The old MCIA terminal
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - September 23, 2019 - 12:00am

I was in a three-day invitational retreat with Opus Dei in Mt. Makiling last weekend, so I wasn’t able to attend the funeral and the tribute of the Cebu Provincial Capitol of the late Cebu governor and senator Rene Espina. However, I did interview him on May 29, 2017 when he wasn’t sickly yet, so I decided as a final tribute to Gov. Espina and for those friends of mine who failed to see that interview to replay that TV show with the late governor-senator.

So watch this historical interview that we did in MyTV Studios on SkyCable’s Channel 53 at 8:00PM with replays on Wednesday and Saturday same time and channel. We also have replays on MyTV’s Channel 30 at 9:00PM Monday and at 7:00AM and 9:00PM on Wednesday and Friday.

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Yes, as I said, I went to Manila to join a three-day invitational retreat with Opus Dei in Mt. Makiling and since I don’t go to Manila the way I used to, it was really the first time for me to see the changes that the GMR-Megawide has done to the old domestic terminal of the Mactan-Cebu Inter-national Airport (MCIA). And what a great way to refurbish that old termi-nal! Of course, they haven’t really finished the renovation yet, but already you will see the wonderful changes that they did in the old terminal, which, for a guy like me who has worked as a director in the MCIAA board, was so used to the old facility. Now it has become unrecognizable.

One fellow I met in the retreat was Edgar Saavedra who works with Luis Ferrer of GMR-Megawide, and we talked about what they are doing with the old domestic terminal and he said that they were not yet done. I’m positive that when they are finished with the renovation package, it would be a great addition to what GMR-Megawide has done in MCIA.

While I was in the airport, I also read a report that the MCIAA plans to give Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) 1 locators different options to make their relocation convenient and less costly, and to ensure minimal disruption in the locators’ operations. This was a report that I read that came from MCIAA General Manager Steve Dicdican. Apparently that report said that Dicdican already requested the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) for data on the MEZ 1 locators, the expiry of their contract and contract terms, so the MCIAA can prepare an appropriate package for the affected firms. Dicdican also said that it would take at least nine years before they can start constructing the second runway. Construction will run for 15 years.

Wait a minute! I know that the budget for the second runway has al-ready been approved in Congress, but I would like to believe that the pro-posal for a second runway by GMR-Megawide has not yet been approved by NEDA or DOTr. So why is GM Dicdican already talking about the transfer of MEPZ-1 to a reclaimed land when that is yet a proposal? The relocation of some 150 MEZ 1 locators is part of the MCIAA’s 50-year master plan for the airport in Lapu-Lapu City, which also includes the construction of a second runway. The locators will be relocated to the proposed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) that will be opened in a 300-hectare reclaimed area in Barangay Ibo to pave the way for the runway construction.

To be totally honest about this, I fully support the proposal of GMR-Megawide as shown to me by my good friend, Andrew Harrison. However, all of these must have the approval of the NEDA or the DOTr because it be-comes a reality. At this point, I really don’t know where this project is as part of the development program for MCIA.

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What’s this I heard that over 2,000 people have voluntarily surren-dered to the government since President Rodrigo Duterte announced that freed heinous crimes convicts released under a controversial law should turn themselves in or else “things can go wrong.” The President’s self-imposed deadline expired last Friday midnight, September 20, and the government now has 2,009 ex-inmates in their custody. Now that figure is more than the prisoners who were earlier released. Apparently, the original and erroneous data that listed 1,914 individuals convicted of heinous crime that should heed Duterte’s surrender order has added to the confusion. Let’s see what would be the final number.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

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