Tagbilaran City, June 30 (PNA) – Passengers waiting for their flights to take off from the current airport in Tagbilaran, Bohol will have to continue bearing with the cramped space of the airport terminal’s interiors for another two years more, at least.
According to Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, it will only be in 2015 when Boholanos and visitors to the province will finally be able to see a airport there.
Abaya, who was here last Sunday to grace the inaugural rites and oath-taking of provincial officials led by Governor Edgar Chatt said, regarding a new airport for Bohol that “we can see it by third quarter of 2015.”
Abaya said that the P7.44 billion project, with the blessing of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, is the “key driver” of Bohol’s tourism industry. Once done, the project, long conceived since over two decades ago, will draw even more tourists into the province. “What that means,” said Abaya,” is that tourists coming in here means more jobs for Boholanos.”
Bohol has seen an increasing influx of both domestic and foreign visitors, with over 570,000 posted for 2012, who are drawn to the what could most likely be the cleanest province in the country, for its stunning natural vistas, old-world heritage sites and world-class diving sites, and many other attractions.
The DOTC secretary said the new airport project, to be situated on 220 hectares on Panglao Island, is already in detailed stage and the bidding is in process. Abaya added that the once finished, the airport will be equipped with modern international-standard facilities.
“The project has been, and is the product of constant coordination with my office and the DOTC is committed to finish it,” Abaya said.
The modern airport to rise on Panglao will be designed for sustainable development as a tropical airport. It will be funded through a Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency-Overseas Development assistance (JICA-ODA), with counterpart funding from the government.