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International Airport in Bohol
« on: December 02, 2018, 11:04:38 PM »
What The Heck! Bohol Had Their New International Airport Already Done!
By: Y. A. Joey Tugung | 11/29/18

Unbeknownst to most of the Zamboangueños, Bohol, or the Boholanos for that matter, had their new international airport in Panglao Island inaugurated the other day, November 27, by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself. To the tune of P8.9 billion, it is ten times bigger than the old Tagbilaran Airport it replaced.

In 2003, NEDA gave the green light for the construction of this new airport. In March 2013, Japan’s ODA and JICA agreed to fund its construction. In short, in a period of 5 years, again let me repeat here, in 5 years’ time the country’s first “eco-airport,” whose runway is 2.8 km in length that sits in a 220- hectare expanse, the dreams of the Boholanos came into fruition. And by and large, it only took a decade or so (i.e., from feasibility study, to planning, project funding and project implementation) for the project to materialize.

Contrast this to our pathetic-looking Zamboanga International Airport, which, by the way, is the country’s 10th busiest airport, 3rd busiest airport in Mindanao and the Philippines’ Gateway to the Southern Border. Decades have gone by, and yet, up to now we are still in the FEASIBILITY STUDY STAGE!

Based on my cursory research, since the early part of 1990’s when NEDA approved the relocation and construction of a new airport, there have been over-all 6, again 6 feasibility studies that were conducted! And yet, more than 20 years thereafter and up to now, we still don’t have our dream airport transferred from Barangay Sta. Maria to a planned 104-hectare lot located between Barangays Mercedes, Talabaan and Taluksangay, which could possibly make it the largest airport in Mindanao (its runway being 3.4 kilometers in length).

And to add insult to injury, what is worst, at this juncture we are still mired and languishing in the feasibility study phase of the project! In obnoxious fashion, this latter part of this year, the bright boys of DOTr conducted anew another feasibility study, which has cost us a staggering amount of P17 million! And this is already the 7th study (geotechnical investigation) that has been conducted by DOTr. And accordingly, the projected amount to construct the new Zamboanga International Airport is between P40 to P60 Billion!!!, which would make it then 6 times more in cost compared to the new Panglao Island International Airport.

In the meantime, or while the government is still conducting the feasibility studies, yet on December 21, 2007, DOTC allotted some P257 million (US$5.2 million) for the improvement of the Zamboanga International Airport, which Band-Aid improvement we have not even tangibly felt nor aesthetically seen at all! Proof thereof, the runway still has potholes, the building still looks anemic, the toilets smell bad and malfunctioning, the Jurassic-like baggage carousel conveyor belt is creaking and the baggage push carts are few and are destroyed, such that, recently, comically certain private citizens even have to donate push carts.

I am addressing this to the past and current elected officials of Zamboanga City. I might be simplistic in my arguments, and perhaps ignorant of lots of things that had happened, but I have this one logical, sensible and practical question for them: For decades (2 decades in fact!) all of you have permanently ran under the platform of government and campaign promise to move the current airport to the east coast, and yet, despite having been elected into office (in fact over and over again to the point where we puke when we see your faces), how come that up to now we are still in the feasibility study phase of the project? Understand bozos and morons, we are not only talking here about the first feasibility study but 7, again 7 feasibility studies! which have already costs us approximately a total of P32 million! out of an allocated budget of P70 million just for the feasibility studies alone!

But this is what I know, under such glaring circumstances (this not to forget their constant promises to the electorates in every election cycle to fix the perennial brownouts, traffic, floods, deteriorated infrastructures, garbage problems, among many others, we have in the city), our local and national elected leaders are nothing but all talk (aka INCOMPETENT and CORRUPT!). And yet, they still have the gall and the temerity (aka THICK FACE) to seek our votes again in this forthcoming mid-term elections with the same old promises! And stupid us, we still vote for them again, again and again! Indeed, the Gods must be crazy in Zamboanga City!


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