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Panglao Bohol International Airport Update

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) has endorsed Gov. Erico Aumentado's request to frontload the 2010 budget for the Panglao Bohol International Airport to 2009.

  In a letter to Budget and Management Secretary Rolando Andaya, DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza favorably endorsed Aumentado's request seeking the frontloading, citing among other reasons, that 2010 is an election year.

  As such, Aumentado had explained, Congress might not be able to approve on time the calendar year 2010 General Appropriations Act (GAA), giving the country no other choice but to operate on a reenacted budget.

  A reenacted budget would jeopardize the airport project, the governor pointed out, because the 2009 budget carries only P307.5 million for the airport. The balance of the amount that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earlier approved for DOTC to come up with stands at P690,971,398 for a total allocation needed of P998,471,398.

  The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) will take care of the other P3 billion requirement, which it will take from the payable of Philippine Airlines (PAL) for its exclusive use of an airport terminal. PAL chief honcho Lucio Tan has committed to settle the obligation – for the government, particularly MIAA, to use to build the Panglao airport with.

  Mendoza reminded Andaya that the development of the Panglao airport is one of the priority projects of President Arroyo, and that the MIAA and DOTC have been tasked to complete the project before the end of her term of office.

  The site for the new airport ois now 89 percent acquired while the procurement of consulting services for the conduct of detailed engineering design and construction management supervision of the project will be conducted shortly, he added.

  It is expected that its construction will commence by early next year, he said.

  Assistant Secretary for planning and project development Elmer Soneja provided Aumentado a copy of the Mendoza letter to Andaya, copy furnished President Arroyo, Mendoza, Secretary Cerge M. Remonde of the Presidential Management Staff and Rep. Edgar Chatto of Bohol's 1st District. - June Blanco, Government Writer

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