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PGMA assures NEDA Board ok, airport works on by December

Tagbilaran City (27 July) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assures Boholanos anew: as set, Panglao Bohol International Airport (PBIA) civil works would roll by December this year.

The Presidential assurance came amidst rumors that the Project Management Office has met "minor problems" with the facility's works.

Many believe "minor problems" are basically procedural for government acquisition, but President Arroyo said DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza has reported acquisition at 100%, completed.

In her update during her recent Bohol Day Celebration attendance, PGMA bared the need for the project to go through the National economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board.

But before the NEDA Board could take on projects, they need to be approved by the NEDA Investment Coordinating Committee (ICC).

The President however does not see this a problem with the airport project.

According to the President, Transportation and Communication Secretary Leandro Mendoza fast-tracked the timetable of the project and needs the NEDA ICC to approve the final costing of the Bohol airport facility this week to get it to NEDA Board by the first week of August.

The NEDA Board, which gives the final nod for the project's cost, meets in August, in time when the President would be in Washington for a state visit.

On this, Mrs. Arroyo said she would let Vice President Noli de Castro preside over the board to assure facilitated project nod.

Reports bared that the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is mainly bankrolling the P4.17B project by putting in P3B. The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) puts up the remaining P1.7B.

It may be recalled that President Arroyo herself broke ground and buried the time capsule for the project in May of 2008. When she did this, she pronounced that the project should be done before her term ends in 2010.

As Boholanos waited for the civil works to commence right away, only the promised road access widening leading to Panglao happened, while the days off the President's term tick off.

PGMA's Bophol Day announcement elated the Boholanos, including those who came home for the triennial worldwide gathering set this week, who anticipated major statements from the President's adopted project dreamt by local officials.

The anticipation of a major statement from the President was also borne out of the fear that the project may have been dumped because of local opposition here.

Apart from the President's pronouncements, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, who also talked with DOTC Secretary Mendoza bared an "all systems go" status for the airport facility in Panglao. (PIA) [top]

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