Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Philippine president leads groundbreaking for Tacloban airport


TACLOBAN CITY (PND)— President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led the groundbreaking rites today for the new Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport terminal building here, a priority government project in Eastern Visayas. The upgrade will enable the facility to satisfy international aviation standards and cope up with the increasing passenger traffic in the region.

The President lowered the capsule that contains the project plan and design of the new P155-million airport terminal building that would be started this year and expected to be finished in three years.

She was assisted by Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla, 1st District Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and other local officials.

“It is also a good opportunity for us to inspect the ongoing improvement of the Tacloban City airport runway,” the President said, adding that that the airport is the gateway for Region 8 from all over the world and not only from the rest of the Philippines.

The P155-million airport terminal building, the P625.5 million ongoing asphalt overlay on its runway and the construction of shore protection structures are components of the Tacloban Airport Development Project with a total funding outlay of P4.13 billion.

Of the total, P1.141 billion have already been released. The Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport is envisioned to become the Eastern Visayas’ first alternate international airport.

The airport modernization includes provisions for its P230-million air navigational facilities and lot acquisition for the new terminal complex area with a P130-million budget.

The remaining P2.989 billion balance, due for release under a multi-year obligation allotment until 2012, will be utilized for the construction of other civil works and other building support facilities such as control tower building, fire station, fuel farm and power house among others.

The construction of the new airport terminal building is also expected to spur economic and tourism development in the region as well as generate more employment opportunities. For Lorenzo Pagad, Ruel Pardillan and Pio Solayao, the construction of the new airport facilities signals a better future for them and their families.

Nagpapasalamat po ako sa pamahalaan sa pagbibigay sa akin ng bagong trabahao. Malaking tulong ito sa aming pangangailalan araw-araw” (I thank the government for giving me a new job. It is a big help for our daily needs), said 53-year old Pagad, who will be hired as carpenter by the contractor RD Policarpio Construction Company,

Pardillan, a 23-year old resident of San Jose here in Tacloban will likewise be hired as laborer. “Napakalaking biyaya ito para sa akin dahil sa ako ay nakatapos lamang ng grade 2. (This is a big blessing for me considering that I just finished Grade II),” he said.

Solayao, 45, married with four children who finished Grade IV only, share the same sentiments. He will also be hired to do some carpentry work.

The three local residents are among the 600 or so workers who will find work once the construction of the new airport terminal building starts.

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