LEGAZPI CITY: Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said he would bring to President Rodrigo Duterte the slow construction of Bicol International Airport (BIA), which had been delayed for more than 10 years.
Go, who visited Legazpi City last week, said he would check with Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade why the construction had been delayed.
“I will check with Secreatry Tugade why the construction of the Bicol International Airport is not yet done. It is the priority project of President Rodrigo Duterte,” he told The Manila Times.
The construction of the P4.7-billion BIA in Barangay Alobo, Daraga town has been certified by the Duterte administration as a priority project. It did not meet the 2018 deadline initially set by the government, however.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in an issued statement that the construction of the Bicol International Airport is currently at 72.2 percent.
“The Bicol International Airport, which is touted as the most scenic gateway in the country, is moving at a fast pace,” Tugade said.
He added that construction work at the international airport logged a 72.2-percent overall progress rate since the actual construction in December 2016.
As of January 13, Tugade said the Package 2A of the international airport development project was 88.2-percent complete.
He bared that the construction work in Package 2A was being handled by the Sunwest Group of Companies. The package covers the airport’s landside facilities such as the administration building, air traffic control building, crash fire rescue building and the maintenance building.
The remaining package, handled by the E.M. Cuerpo construction company, covers the construction of the passenger terminal building, taxiway, runway extension and other site development works. The 2B of the airport project is now 49.5-percent complete.
Aside from its picturesque backdrop of the Mayon Volcano, the new international airport is projected to boost air traffic in the Bicol Region as well as in the neighboring Visayan region, specifically in Samar areas, and expected to serve a total of 2 million airline passengers annually.
“It can’t be denied that the aviation sector has been one of the hardest hits by the pandemic. That’s why it is important that we finish the airport at the soonest possible time amid the existing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic as this will absolutely give the economy a boost,” Tugade said.
“I want to finish off the BIA within the year because we want it to be ready so the public will benefit it. As we ready for take-off, it must be all systems go,” he added.