A total of P2.1 billion has been set aside to modernize the infrastructure in six airports in the Visayas and Mindanao, Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr., an ex-officio member of the House appropriations committee, said over the weekend.
The New Bohol (Panglao) International Airport is getting the biggest slice of the Aviation Infrastructure Program budget in the proposed P3.757-trillion General Appropriations Act for 2019, according to Campos. “The Panglao airport is getting an extra P754 million next year.”
The new international airport is poised to start commercial operations in the weeks ahead. It is expected to accommodate two million passengers in its first full year of operation.
Besides Panglao, Campos said the other airports set to receive new infrastructure development funds are:
• Siargao Airport, P500 million;
• Catbalogan Airport, P450 million;
• Davao International Airport, P315 million;
• Central Mindanao (M’lang) Airport, P92 million; and
• Tacloban Airport, P50 million.
“The P2.1 billion is on top of the P10.2 billion that the Department of Transportation is spending this year to upgrade 40 airports across the country,” Campos said.
Campos said the government is investing heavily to build up aviation facilities and services, amid the growing number of Filipinos traveling by air domestically as well as the surge in foreign tourists, many of whom go on island-hopping tours.
A total of 3.706 million foreigners visited the country from January to June this year, up 10.4 percent from 3.357 million in the same six-month period in 2017, according to the Department of Tourism.
Some 25 million Filipinos now rely on local air travel every year, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said. (PR)