Dalaguete airstrip, 1st in Cebu south, planned

AN AIRSTRIP that could one day be developed into southern Cebu’s first airport, and redeveloped beach properties in three towns are the latest plans to boost economic activity in the south of Cebu.

The plans were unveiled during the visit of Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza) general manager and chief operating officer Mark Lapid to Cebu Monday, Nov. 7, 2022.

Lapid and Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia inspected the proposed site of the airstrip in Tieza’s property in Dalaguete town Monday, Sugbo News, the Capitol’s official news platform, revealed.

The airstrip is planned to have a runway of 1.2 kilometers inside a 7.7-hectare area.

It would be Cebu’s first commercial airstrip in the south, and Garcia hopes to elevate it into an airport someday like those commercial airports that are under development in Bantayan and the Camotes Islands in northern and eastern Cebu, respectively.

The Cebu Provincial Government, Tieza and the local government units (LGUs) of Dalaguete, Argao and Moalboal also plan to sign a tripartite agreement for the redevelopment of the government corporation’s prime beach properties in these towns.

They plan to invite private partners to invest in redeveloping Tieza’s prime beach properties, but in the meantime, Lapid said, they plan to work hand in hand with the Provincial Government and LGUs involved to allot “development funds” to open the redeveloped beaches by December.

The draft for these projects is targeted to be presented to the Tieza Board by Nov. 23, said Lapid.

Lapid, Garcia and the municipal mayors inspected one of Tieza’s beach properties, the Argao Beach Club (now known as Dalaguete Beach Park), located in Barangay Casay, Dalaguete town, Monday.

Currently maintained by Tieza, the 12.2-hectare property located on the Argao-Dalaguete boundary has been abandoned for years.

Another Tieza property they discussed redeveloping is an 11-hectare unproductive lot lying along the diving haven of Panagsama Beach in Barangay Basdiot in Moalboal.

Lapid said Tieza wants to activate the area into a tourism destination through the tripartite arrangement and later look for private partners to invest in the development of the beach parks.

Garcia believes that these major partnerships with Tieza would revive the tourism industry, and consequently, the local economy that has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

SunStar Cebu tried reaching Argao Mayor Allan Sesaldo and Dalaguete Mayor Ronald Cesante for their comments on the matter but to no avail.

Tieza is a government-owned and –controlled corporation attached to the Department of Tourism. Its tasks include building tourism infrastructure; designation, regulation and supervision of Tourism Enterprise Zones; and the operation of Tieza assets.


In northern Cebu, the Bantayan Island Airport has a 1.2-kilometer runway that can accommodate turboprop planes.

There are plans to expand it so that it can accommodate commercial aircraft and boost tourism and other economic opportunities in northern Cebu and the rest of the Visayas.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines turned over the management and operation of the facility to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority in January 2018.

Last July, Rep. Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco (Cebu, fifth district) filed House Bill 103 to establish a domestic commercial airport in the town of San Francisco in the Camotes Islands on a property owned by the Cebu Provincial Government.

This proposed airport would span 27 hectares and have a 1.8-kilometer airstrip.

In the explanatory note to his bill, Frasco said that despite their growing popularity as an alternative tourism destination in Cebu and the Visayas, “to date, the Islands of Camotes are only accessible via ferry boat.” (HIC, CTL)