By Rhaydz B. Barcia
DARAGA, Albay --- In an effort to expedite the completion of the Bicol International Airport, Mayor Carlwyn Baldo ordered law enforcers to beef up security measures to prevent another incident of harassment by communist guerrillas on the construction site.
Baldo convened the members of Daraga Security Council during a meeting held at municipal hall conference room to strengthen security measures in the town and on the airport’s construction site in Barangay Alobo to hasten the construction without delay.
The newly installed mayor of this town said that one of his primary agenda is to ensure peace and security as he sought local authorities to strengthen and enforce strict security procedures for the duration of the airport construction.
The ongoing construction is targeted to be completed by 2020 for the international airport located in this town to start operation.
“Daraga’s economy is booming and as we are heading towards its cityhood status, I will make sure that additional security measures are implemented throughout the municipality,“ Baldo said.
Construction of the Bicol International Airport has been delayed for nearly 14 years now after former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapgal-Arroyo and President Benigno Aquino 111 failed to implement the P4.8B project.
The P4.8B international airport is a flagship project in Bicol of then President Arroyo that is aimed to boost tourism and economic development in Southern Luzon.
The project was also pursued by Aquino administration as part of his promise to the Bicolanos in 2010 but the project did not materialize following the snail-paced release of budget under the then Department of Transportation and Communication.
Aside from slow release of budget, the New people’s Army had been destroying several construction equipment at the site for the government contractors’ refusal to pay for the rebels’ so-called revolutionary tax.
Under President Rodrigo Duterte, the construction of Bicol International Airport proceeded but again went through incidents of harassment by the armed rebels.
Daraga chief of police El Cid T. Roldan said that despite the lack of enough personnel, he will work with the 2nd Coy Albay Provincial Mobile Force Company under the helm of Police Supt. Noel Riñon to double the efforts in securing the on-going airport.
Police Chief Inspector, Neil C. Tavares of the Aviation Security Group (AVSEGROUP) also discussed the importance of the aviation security Unit here.
Tavares said that one of the security measures is the deployment of the necessary personnel and placement of their respective substations to ensure the security and safety of the people within and outside the premises once the international airport becomes operational.