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North Cotabato Airport
« on: August 10, 2019, 01:46:43 PM »
Controversial Central Mindanao Airport soon to open
By John Unson

NORTH COTABATO --- Officials started resolving this week the right-of-way issues and other constraints that stymied the supposed operation since 2007 of the multi-million Central Mindanao Airport.

Representatives from the Department of Public Works and Highways and local officials just had a dialogue and agreed to collaborate in addressing the problems, according to North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco.

Catamco said Saturday the provincial government will do it best to open soon the Central Mindanao Airport in the municipality of Mlang to boost North Cotabato’s economy.

“This airport can help improve by many folds the investment climate of North Cotabato and Kidapawan City,” Catamco said.

The airport, costing more or less P300 million, was constructed in 2006, during the time of Gov. Emmanuel Piñol.

It has never been opened even during the time of his successor, Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, who was at the helm of the provincial government from June 30, 2010 to June 30 this year.

“We want this airport opened if not within the year maybe before year 2020 ends,” Catamco said.

For now, the nearest airports to the towns in the second and third districts of North Cotabato and the provincial capital, Kidapawan City, are located in Davao City in the North and in Cotabato City in the south, both more than two hours away via overland travel.

Mlang Mayor Russel Abonado recommended during their meeting at the provincial capitol in Kidapawan City the need to resurvey the private lands traversed by the airport runway to hasten the settlement of right-of-way claims.

Catamco said Abonado and Mlang’s former mayor, Luigi Cuerpo, a representative of the right-of-way claimants, agreed during the meeting to help facilitate the resurvey of the private lands occupied by the concrete runway, designed for large passenger aircrafts.

The initial dialogue on how to hasten the opening of the airport was facilitated by provincial legal officer Jonah Mineses, senior officials under Catamco’s office and technical personnel of the DPWH.

Catamco said representatives from the environment and transportation departments, from the Mindanao Development Authority and the have been invited to join in another brainstorming session on September 3.

[] Photo: Officials met this week for initial talks on the opening of the Central Mindanao Airport.[] Aug.10, 2019 []

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