Implementation of the New Bohol Airport proceeds without necessarily getting special mention in the President’s latest State-of-the-Nation Address.
Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio II, who leads the local project management team, explained that the JICA-funded New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project has already started on phase 1 and this could be the reason that the President no longer saw the need to mention it again in his SONA.
The President had been mentioning the project in his past official statements when it was still striving on the stage of documentary requirements, and it must have been enough, Damalerio added. Once the technical document on the procurement has already been opened, it is interpreted that the project has already commenced.
In fact, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) had already posted in its official website on November 29 last year, the details of the “Procurement of New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project (JICA funded)”.
The loan agreement for the project has already been signed already by the Japan government and the Philippine government, so it is impossible for the project to be banked off, especially that the procurement has already started, according to Damalerio.
He also pointed out that JICA has the record of completing a project within the timeframe set, because Japanese has been known to be meticulous in terms of project implementation.
JICA has invested around P5 billion for the project, he confirmed.
The New Bohol Airport project has an area of 230 hectares, while the Tagbilaran Airport only has at least 24 hectares only.
Phase 1 involves site preparation that covers perimeter fencing and land clearing which is now ongoing. On the other hand, the water connection project funded by the DOTC will involve a transmission line to tap from the farthest end in Dauis that Bohol Water Utilities, Inc. serves up to the project site.
The DPWH already issued an excavation clearance to the contractor for this purpose.
Another important project component that JICA requires is the resettlement program for the affected families, particularly the landowners who allowed their properties to be purchased for the site of the project.
Damalerio reported that so far, 44 units of the resettlement housing project for the affected families are already 80 percent completed.
The local project management team estimated that by end of August the affected families can already transfer to their new homes at the resettlement site. The resettlement program is primary task of the local project management team, Damalerio added.
He said the provincial government and the DOTC posted their respective counterparts of P7 million each to allocate two hectares for the resettlement project.
All the affected families had already been issued entitlement cards by Gov. Edgar Chatto and the contractor is expected to be able to turn over the units to the homeowners group within the timeframe which might be in time of the opening of the financial documents tendered by the contractors for the phase 2 of the project.
Phase 2 covers the construction of a new access road, runway terminal, runway apron, and terminal building, control tower, and navigational facilities.
The take off area will be longer compared to the Tagbilaran Airport’s which is only 1.8 kilometer as the DOTC allocated enough clearance for the new airport wherein the approach to the landing path and take off path can stretch to five kilometers.
A new and bigger access road will be constructed in an area parallel to the direction of the runway, and will stretch from the central road in barangay Lourdes going to Bolod and Tawala.
The government had already acquired the properties to be traversed by the new access road.
The bigger road is required based on forecast of traffic congestion once the new airport operates. Damalerio also said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) already set the height limitations on the buildings in Panglao and furnished it to the municipal government for conformity in issuing building permits, especially in areas near the airport.
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