Bicol International Airport Gets Additional P23M

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

LEGAZPI CITY, March 23  -- The Bicol International Airport project in Barangay Alobo here recently received an additional P23 million to complete its right-of-way acquisition which has so far attained close to a 75 percent mark of accomplishment.

The amount is on top of the P82 million earlier released by Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) to compensate the land owners whose property the new airport will occupy.

Albay Gov. Joey S. Salceda said 72 percent of the land acquisition has already been completed. The main constraints in the acquisitions of lands the airport will cover are posed by lots mortgaged to rural banks which have been foreclosed by the Philippine Development Insurance Corp., and some lot owners who now live abroad.

In physical terms, Salceda reported, the P100-million access road to the airport site has already been completed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The initial P600 million for the construction of the airport itself, the governor explained, has been approved by the DOTC, and contractor Sunwest was already given permit to enter and start clearing operations.

Salceda said an additional P900 million is earmarked in the DOTC 2010 budget for the second tranche of the project but this would have to wait for the significant progress in the utilization of first tranche of P300 million.

"We estimate the delay at about six months since the provincial government received the P82 million only last August 2009 but this status is still a lot better than Panglao International Airport," he said.

The delay, Salceda said, sets back the airport's completion from 2012 to 2013.

On the other hand, engineer Macario Pavia Albay provincial planning officer and international airport project coordinator said acquisition of lots in barangay Bascaran, intended for the access road are almost 100 percent complete. (PNA)