Sta. Fe airport, trans-axial eyed for development

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Sunday, July 6, 2014


PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III is interested in developing the airport in Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island.

This was what Gov. Hilario Davide III told reporters in a press conference last Friday.

The governor filed a motion for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority Board to include the airports in Bantayan and Camotes in the Department of Transportation and Communications study.

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Representative Benhur Salimbangon (Cebu, 4th district) said if the Province turns over the airport to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the latter will develop the facility.

“I talked with CAAP since this is their responsibility, to negotiate and discuss this with Provincial Government, being the owner of the airport,” he said.

Payables

Last January, the Sargaso Construction and Development Corp. demanded P146.939 million from the Capitol as payment for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the airports in Sta. Fe and Bantayan towns.

The Capitol also owes P70.9 million for the Camotes airport project, while it owes P76 million for the Sta. Fe airport, according to the contractor.

As of last December, 500 meters of the runway in Sta. Fe still needed to be cemented.

Salimbangon said big planes cannot land at the Sta. Fe airport since the facility can only accommodate small ones that carry six to eight passengers, limiting tourist arrivals to the town.

“Of course we need an airport but the best gyud ang atong (are the) roads nga mahimong (that will become a) freeway so that you can reach the farthest ends (of Cebu) in one hour,” he said, referring to the trans-axial highway project, a 300-kilometer highway that connects Santander in the south to Daanbantayan in the north through the middle of the province.

Interested

Salimbangon said Global Sphere, a Dubai-based company, is also interested in the project.

He said they turned over the project’s feasibility study to the company last month.

“Importante gyud ni kaayo (This is really important) because this will bring my district closer to the city and at the same time closer to its neighbors,” he said.

Davide is eyeing a public-private partnership to fund the P56-billion project on a build-operate-transfer scheme.

The project has revenue-generating components for the investor like the mountain highway, seven-kilometer-long seaports, the 550-hectare reclamation project that covers Talisay, Minglanilla and Naga and four economic zones in Cebu’s fourth, fifth, third and second districts, water resource areas, wind and solar power farms, said Engr. Edgar Sibonga, head of its Technical Working Group. (OCP)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 06, 2014.

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