Bukidnon airport to be constructed in 2012 – Sen. ZubiriPosted: March 28, 2011
MALAYBALAY CITY – Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri announced he is earmarking P100 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund in 2012 to start construction of the P500 million Bukidnon airport.
He said the target is by 2012 the project’s airstrip will already be available for use by smaller planes. The initial fund will be used to fence the site and to construct the airstrip.
By 2014, he said, the airport could serve a regional clientele for planes plying routes like Cebu-Bukidnon and later Manila-Bukidnon.
The senator was the guest of honor at the ground breaking of the P25 million worth of expansion at the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center (BPMC). They are constructing a two floor building two house additional private rooms at the BPMC in Casisang, Malaybalay City. The fund was taken from his PDAF this year.
Zubiri said he is looking for additional sources from Official Development Assistance such as those offered by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and other international aid agencies to fund the bigger portion of the project.
He added that an airport in the province is important as the Laguindingan International Airport is set to operate. The airport of international standard in Misamis Oriental is set to be completed this year. He said land travel from Bukidnon to the new airport will take much longer.
Zubiri said the site of the proposed airport is in Sinangguyan-Maray-maray, Don Carlos, Bukidnon. He said Malaybalay could not be a site for the airport because of weather problems. [Updated]
Last year, President Benigno Simeon Aquino has tasked the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to conduct a feasibility study for a an airport “more central in Mindanao so that distances to and from various areas will make more economic sense.”
Valencia Mayor Leandro Jose Catarata said in January that Aquino mentioned this proposed airport in the heartland of Mindanao during the presentation of “Mindanao 2020” to the President on November 30 last year, as he announced his city’s offer of a site for the airport.
Earlier, the towns of Don Carlos and Maramag proposed sites for the airport which is being eyed to be constructed in Bukidnon, Mindanao’s heartland.
Catarata said senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Teofisto Guingona III, both from Bukidnon, had requested the President to locate it in the province. Aquino had ended his speech by saying that most Mindanao airports are located near the coast.
“That doesn’t make tremendous sense to me, and I will be directing the director general of NEDA to study the feasibility and the placement of an airport more central in Mindanao so that distances to and from various areas will make more economic sense.”
Aquino, however, noted that “undoubtedly” there will be a lot of tension as to where to actually locate this central airport.
Catarata has offered a site in Valencia City.
He said they are serious in their proposal and are looking at recommending a site in barangays Sugod or Bagonta-as. (Walter I. Balane)