Modernization of provincial airports underway

Pinoys who frequently fly South may soon expect more "convenient, affordable, reliable, efficient and safe" trips as the government is set bid out contracts for the modernization of two airports in Visayas and Mindanao.

Proposals have been sought for the development of the Tacloban and Dipolog airports, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said in a recent statement, adding that opening of bids has been scheduled for Sept. 24.

The projects, worth a total of P319 million, is in line with President Benigno Aquino III's promise of modernizing air transport facilities in the country, the DOTC said.

"As the Philippines begins to experience renewed vigor in its business climate, President PNoy is prioritizing the building of infrastructure to sustain greater investment interest in the local market," it added.

P251.6 million has been alloted for improvements in the Tacloban Airport project while the Dipolog airport project has an estimated cost of P66.9 million.

The Tacloban Airport, which currently services flights to and from Manila and Cebu, is the eighth busiest airport in the country with passenger traffic over one million, the DOTC said.

An improved Tacloban Airport is also expected to boost tourist arrivals to Tacloban City's attractions such as the San Juanico Bridge, Calvary Hill, the Price Mansion, and the Maria Kanon Madonna of Peace Shrine.

"Tacloban is also the gateway to tourist destinations including the Calbiga Cave complex, the beaches of Guiuan, and the new surfing hot spot in Calicoan Island," DOTC noted.

The Dipolog Airport is meanwhile poised to reach the 200,000 mark this year, with flights also to and from Manila and Cebu.

"The Dipolog Airport plays a key role not only in the development of business and tourism in Dipolog City and Dapitan City, but in the whole province of Zamboanga del Norte and its neighboring provinces," the DOTC said.

It added that the region is home to popular tourist destinations such as the Dakak Beach, Dapitan Bay, Aliguay and Silinog Islands, white water adventure in Sungkilaw Falls, and the Cogon jungle adventure.

The DOTC meanwhile assured the public that the projects will undergo an "open and transparent bidding process."

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