Aquino, NEDA board approve construction of new airports

President Benigno S. Aquino III presides over the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board Meeting at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room, Malacañan Palace on Tuesday (September 04). In photo are Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Agriculture Secretary Proseco Alcala and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director General Arsenio Balisacan. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Sept 4 (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board approved on Tuesday the construction of the Bicol International Airport project and the New Bohol (Panglao) Airport Development project.

The P4.7 billion Bicol International project in Daraga, Albay will replace the existing Legazpi Airport, Secretary Ramon Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office said in a media briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday.

The initial plan was to expand the Legazpi Airport but Carandang said there’s a mountain blocking airplanes during approach so planners considered finding a new location.

The Department of Transportation and Communication made a study and found the it is cheaper to move to Daraga than to level the mountain that could cost the government around P3 billion.

“The other thing is because the airport facility is good property it can be sold and it can defray some of the cost of the transfer,” he noted.

The P8-billion New Bohol (Panglao) Airport Development Project, on the other hand, once constructed is expected to spur development as more businesses grow and more tourists come to the Visayas region.

Aside from building new airports, the NEDA board also approved the Light Rail Transit Line 2 East Extension project and the purchase of 52 new cars for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT).

Under the P9.7 billion LRT Line 2 East Extension project, a 4.19-kilometer extension will be built from the existing Santolan Station to the Masinag Junction.

Two additional stations will be constructed at Emerald Drive in Cainta, and in the Masinag Junction in Antipolo City. (MNS)

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