- Discover Legazpi
- Plan your Trip
- What To Do
- Media Gallery
Source: PNA Bicol
An amount of P4.9 billion has been approved by the Cabinet for the completion of the Bicol International Airport (BIA) in Daraga town of Albay, according to Governor Joey Salceda.
“At about 3:20 p.m. (Thursday) after landing in T3, I received texts about the final Cabinet approval of the P4.9 billion for the Bicol International Airport in Daraga. I thanked His Excellency P-Noy (President Benigno Aquino III) and Secretary Mar (Roxas) for taking good care of Bicol, especially Albay. I also texted Secretary (Paquito) Jojo Ochoa,” Salceda said in a text message circulated here Friday.
Considered today as the biggest countryside development project in Bicol funded by the national government under President Benigno Aquino III, the BIA is currently under construction in a 140-hectare prime land straddling Bicol’s premier town of Daraga and neighboring municipality of Camalig.
The ongoing construction activities involving works on the two-kilometer runway being undertaken by Sunwest Construction based here is funded by the initial P900-million fund earmarked in the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) 2010 budget.
The two-kilometer access road from the Maharlika Highway in Barangay Tabon-tabon, Daraga with a separate appropriation of P100 million from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) had already been completed early this year.
The new airport, targeted for completion in 2015, will answer the need for a modern airport in Southern Luzon, which should cater to more business activities in the area and conveniently link Bicol to the rest of the country and the world.
It will serve the needs of 9.8 million people – 5.7 million in Bicol and 2.1 million in the three provinces of nearby Samar islands. Bicol is under the Central Philippines cluster along with the three Visayan regions, which focuses on tourism development.
Touted as one of the biggest and most ambitious government projects in the Bicol so far, the BIA carries with it prospects of even greater returns on investment that is certain to spur the region’s economy and thrust its tourism industry to the international stage.
In his latest State of the Nation Address delivered last July 23, President Aquino stressed on the countryside development agenda of his administration mentioning the BIA as among its priority components.
Salceda, a major proponent of the project assures that the new airport “will catapult the tourism potentials of Albay, serve as anchor for modern business platforms and as a fulcrum for spatial integration of Albay and neighboring Sorsogon province into one common economic market.”
Conceived through the proposal of Salceda by the Regional Development Council (RDC) in 2006, the project was first given by the DOTC in 2007 an amount of P85 million for the advance engineering works such as the feasibility study and site development plan which were completed before the end of that year.
Later, the DOTC provided an amount of P250 million for the acquisition with the parcellary survey of the land for the airport in Barangay Alobo, Daraga, a site deemed safe from the risks and threats entailed when the majestic Mayon Volcano erupts.
Barangay Alobo is some 15 kilometers southwest of the volcano. The present Legazpi City Domestic Airport is about 10 kilometers from the foot of Mayon whose perfect cone and spectacular eruptions are both tourist attractions. The volcano regularly erupted once every three to five years during the past two decades.
An additional amount of P23 million was provided by the DOTC to complete the right-of-way acquisition on top of the P82 million to compensate the land owners whose property the new airport will occupy and families who were displaced from the site.
This airport will be the first international airport to be built in Bicolandia which according to Legazpi City Mayor Geraldine Rosal would be a testament to economic growth in the region that despite its vast natural resources including mineral deposits, geothermal power and tourism potentials, has remained among the poorest regions of the country today.
On its own, the city government has been opening and constructing a new road network from the heart of the city’s commercial hub to the new airport passing through rolling mountainous terrains that offer awesome views of the volcano, the Albay Gulf and the entire landscape of the metropolis.
This new Legazpi road network, Rosal said will boost the commercial and tourism development role that BIA is going to play. (PNA) LAP/LQ/DOC/CBD/