One of the projects in the Duterte Administration that is most awaited by a lot of people is the construction of the Bicol International Airport (BIA). Last year, news of it being completed in the year 2020 has been circulating around news agencies. The government body tasked to work on this is the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Arthur Tugade, Secretary of the DOTr, made the commitment that the completion of the Bicol International Airport (BIA) is to be done and finished by June of the year 2020.
Will the BIA be operational by then, too?
As per the Department, the airport will be operational four (4) months after the completion of the BIA. This was according to Joey Salceda, Albay 2nd District Representative.
Tugade and Salceda held a meeting with the hopes of immediately completing the construction of the BIA. Why? Because they believe that the BIA could have drastic importance in the industry of tourism which will enable the Philippine economy to be boosted.
Salceda said that he was able to explain to Secretary Arthur Tugade that boosting the tourism in Albay could enable the tourism in adjacent provinces, too.
I explained to Secretary Tugade that Albay is number 4 in domestic tourism arrivals and if you add the tourism traffic in Albay, Masbate, and Sorsogon, this would push these numbers higher. Thus, the need to simply accelerate the airport construction. He committed that the construction will be completed in June 2020. Another four months to start operations.”
Since when is the Bicol International Airport under construction?
As per reports, the Bicol International Airport (BIA) has been long overdue because of a couple of issues. The budget, which is P4.7 billion, has been talked about in the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) a few times too.
Some of the issues that the BIA construction faced were the insurgency problem and the right of way because some people actually are living close or near the area.
If we were to put it in a percentage perspective, Salceda said that as of this date, the airport’s vertical structures like terminal building, landslide facilities, other site development, and the runway completion is currently at 57 percent completed.
So, it’s safe to say that it’s more than half in completion and that we can expect the operations of the airport to really start in the next year to come.
Kung based on total project cost of P4.7 billion na kasama runway sa computation, 78 percent, pero kung yung vertical, 2A (780m) and 2B, that is worth P1.5 to P2.2 billion is only 57 percent. It is fully funded and it is in full blast to meet the June 27, 2020 deadline for the terminal and for the landside facilities.”
On the other hand, the DOTr said that some facilities are already completed as of April of this year. These include:the fence, the apron and perimeter, the taxiway, the airstrip, and the runway.
The airside of the airport comprising of the airstrip, runway, taxiway, apron and perimeter and fence is already 100% complete, while the landside comprising of all the buildings and the site development are currently in the works.”
In expectation, the DOTr together with the Bicol government, expects the airport to be able to serve a total of two (2) million passengers per year. Of course, they would be using state-of-the-art and improved facilities plus higher capacities in the operation of airports.
A site inspection was made back in April of 2019 and among the people who were present were Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal, CAAP Deputy Director General for Administration, General Ricardo Banayat, DOTr Under Secretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio Tamayo, Tourism Assistant Secretary Myra Abubakar, and DOTr Assistant Secretary for Communications Goddes Hope Libiran.
The DOTr continues to push for the construction because the BIA is expected to boost the tourism of the Southern part of Luzon.
Hailed as the ‘Most Scenic Gateway’, BIA is expected to boost Bicol’s tourism arrival and help Albay become an economic powerhouse.”
What do you think about the promise that the BIA will be operational in the next year? Could this impose a more efficient and a better means of transportation and tourism for Filipinos and foreigners?