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PIA Press Release

PGMA vows to complete Panglao airport, super regions within her term

by Rey Anthony Chiu

Tagbilaran City (29 May) -- PANGLAO International Airport’s (PIA) fate is sealed as a key super-regions highlight in the Visayas, this as President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said her administration focuses on completing its super regions project within her remaining three years.

The P2.4 to P3.2B Panglao Airport, when completed with in the president’s timetable could be one for the record as possibly the only airport planned and completed within PGMA’s term.

In Bohol, those hopeful of the project have been lost hope of its completion when Bohol failed to deliver 12-0 slate. However with the president’s reassurance of capping her term with enough legacy to spur other parts of the country to contribute to national development, the pervading apprehension is expected to vanish.

Now intent on breaking the vicious cycle of leaving half done projects to new leaders, a Malacañang source leaked to the media that the President has turned down the accommodation of additional infrastructure projects, and instead wants her Cabinet to work on completing the super regions.

Economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri said the President has already instructed the various government agencies to work on the projects under the Medium Term Public Investment Plan.

“We already have plenty of projects in the pipeline. She wants to be sure the implementing agencies finish them before her term ends in 2010,” Neri said.

For the Panglao Airport, the President has signed Memorandum Order 210 for the Manila International Airport Authority to exercise administrative supervision on the project. The Philippine Tourism Authority started bankrolling the project with P110M for land acquisition years ago.

The Department of Transportation and Communication has also released amounts to set up the projects administrative support base.

The infrastructure is also covered under the super regions concept the President spelled out before Congress during her State-of-the- Nation Address in July 2006.

Under the proposed super regions, government is proposing to create an agribusiness quadrangle in North Luzon and an industrial beltway in Metro Luzon. It is also proposing to transform Visayas into a haven for services and tourism, while making Mindanao the country’s food basket.

Economic advisor Joey Salceda has pegged the needed capital for the super regions project at P372.02 billion.

Around P181.15 billion of that will be used to construct railways, while another P101.8 billion will be used to bankroll the construction of new roads and highways.

Roughly P43.1 billion is earmarked for the development of airports, while the remaining P15.85 billion is set aside for construction and improvement of seaports.

Nearly half of the needed budget, or about P186.27 billion, will be bankrolled by the national government or from overseas development assistance.

Government-owned and -controlled corporations are supposed to chip in P116.01 billion of the entire capital requirement, while the private sector would contribute as much as P68.41 billion.

Local government units are meanwhile expected to bring in P1.33 billion. (PIA) [top]

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