To a new site in bacong town Solon wants to relocate airport from Dumaguete
Judy Flores Partlow (The Freeman) - November 19, 2014 - 12:00am

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines – Representative Pryde Henry Teves (3rd district, Negros Oriental) is pushing for the relocation of the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport to a new site in Bacong town, about ten-minute drive south of this capital.

The Teves proposal is contrary to an earlier one, extending and expanding the current airport in Sibulan town, which the congressman described as an impractical suggestion with so many disadvantages.

Teves wanted to have instead a new airport at a site in Combado of Bacong, about 200 hectares in size and could accommodate a 2.5-kilometer runway, which he assured will not cut across the national highway.

The initial expansion project of the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport is not feasible, as shown in studies by the Japanese International Coordinating Agency and the Korean International Coordinating Agency, said the congressman.

Teves said the expansion project costs P2.5 billion with the Department of Transportation and Communications already having chopped down the appropriation to less than P1 billion per tranche to avoid getting required for endorsement from the National Economic Development Authority.

A first appropriation of P500,000 for land acquisition had already been included in the national budget, but Teves said he had it cut and had the money returned to the national coffers. This is among the reasons why he is against the expansion of the Dumaguete airport, he said.

Teves said the area being eyed for expansion is thickly populated and would put the lives of the people there at risk, besides being already an urban area and it would cost the government huge sums of money to purchase land or buy the houses at the site.

At the very least, land in that area would cost about P2,000 per square meter while it would only be about P300 per square meter in Bacong, Teves added.

The proposed new Bacong airport, which will take about four or five years to build, is seen to boost the economy of the people living in that "sleepy" town, more particularly those in the quarrying business, being the main supplier of sand and gravel, Teves said.

DOTC will implement the project but the local government unit of Bacong must spearhead in the negotiations in the land acquisition.

The proposed new airport in Bacong would, however, need the endorsement of the NEDA, prompting Teves to seek for help from NEDA-7 Director Efren Carreon to push for the project.

Carreon was in Dumaguete late last week to attend the board of regents meeting of the Negros Oriental State University, of which he sits as member.

Teves said that once the proposed new Bacong airport shall be approved, the old one shall be converted into a training airport for all flying schools in the country.

He said that retired Philippine Air Force Lieutenant General William Hotchkiss, now the director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, had assured him that he will cancel all training airports of all flying schools in the country when a new airport in Negros Oriental is built.

Hotchkiss had recently visited the site in Bacong and is convinced it is the best place for the new Dumaguete airport, Teves added.

AIRPORT BACONG CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY OF THE PHILIPPINES COMBADO OF BACONG DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR EFREN CARREON DUMAGUETE DUMAGUETE-SIBULAN JAPANESE INTERNATIONAL COORDINATING AGENCY AND THE KOREAN INTERNATIONAL COORDINATING AGENCY NEGROS ORIENTAL TEVES
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