SP Highlights: Naga Airport Re-Orientation Project
The Naga Airport Re-Orientation Project began in 2015. Per manifestation of Engr. Raul Basallote, Area Manager from the Project Management Office of the Department of Transportation, last Tuesday (18 April 2018) during our 87th Regular Session, P402 million was allocated for the acquisition of the required property and that the provincial government of Camarines Sur which was entrusted with the task of acquiring the needed land had already secured from the Regional Trial Court Writs of Possession. This means that the team in-charge or their contractors can already enter the property and start working thereat. Nonetheless, civil works cannot yet be started until the detailed engineering design of the Re-Oriented and Upgraded Naga Airport is submitted and approved. Funded with P35M, Engr. Basallote stated that the consultant hired for the purpose will need time to finish the design, though he promised before the Sangguniang Panlungsod that he will ensure that said prerequisites will be expedited and be completed before the end of the current year. After the aforesaid detailed engineering design, it is only then that CAAP can begin using the P233M and P967M downloaded to it from the 2015 and 2016 General Appropriation Acts, respectively. In 2017 and 2018 GAA, no budget was allocated to the project as the total of P1.2B transferred to CAAP remained untouched. With the manifestation of Engr. Basallote, we hope that this situation will be different by the end of this year. The good area manager shared that the bidding process for the upgrading of Naga Airport is foreseen by him to start this 2018 and the unused funds will already be utilized for the purpose. But the P1.2B in CAAP’s coffers is not enough to finish the project. Per the estimate in the feasibility study, the re-orientation and upgrading of Naga Airport will require a total of P3.53B, including the cost of land acquisition. We still need around P1.9B for the completion of the project. As such, since we recognize the importance of finishing the upgrading of the airport the soonest possible time, the City Government of Naga therefore, via Resolution No. 2018-362, jointly and collectively enacted, is requesting the Honorable Secretary Arturo Tugade of the Department of Transportation to ensure the inclusion in the 2019 General Appropriations Act the necessary fund for the completion of the Naga Airport Re-Orientation Project. We hope that this appeal will be seen with utmost favor by the benevolent Transport Secretary considering that no less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself, during his recent visit in Camarines Sur, made a comment on the need for improvement of the Naga Airport. Vice President Ma. Leonor G. Robredo has also been championing the cause of upgrading the airport since Day 1. Also, in this modern age where costs of plane tickets are already affordable and gone is the time where air travel is reserved for the few elites, a decent airport is a must to attract, facilitate and maintain the influx of travellers and investors. With the stature of Naga City and the Province of Camarines Sur as one of the premier tourist destinations in the country and among the most progressive local economies in the Philippines, Naga Airport, therefore, plays a critical role in the robust and sustainable economic growth of both the city and the province, in particular, and of the entire Bicol Region, in general. It is, thus, to the best interest of all that the Naga Airport be re-oriented and upgraded as soon as possible in order to ensure the sustainable and responsive development in the community. Though the conservative estimate of Engr. Raul Basallote is five years for the completion of the project, we know that, with active cooperation among all stakeholders, we can shorten this timeline to a maxi mum of three years only. Hence, we do hope that the re-oriented and/or re-developed Naga Airport will become operational comes 2021. Tarabang po kita!