LEGAZPI CITY — There is no reason to be flaunting about the age of modern air travel in the region via the Southern Luzon international airport. The thing is, the airport’s completion may come beyond the 2016 national elections, yet. Because of this, Bicolanos, more specifically the people of Albay, are getting frustrated.
For so many occasions, Governor Joey Salceda had his heyday prognosticating about the developmental benefits of having an all-weather airport overlooking the tourist magnet of the province, Mt. Mayon.
The governor had hoped the airport’s targeted completion this year would be timed when Albay would serve as venue of one of the meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference that the country will host in December.
Albay went on a bidding “war” against interested cities and provinces of other regions, as venue for some of the events, banking on the airport’s availability.
Salceda said that while P720 million of the airport construction budget has already been awarded to the winning contractor, the balance of P1.3 billion from the Transportation Department allocated in the 2012 budget has remained unutilized.
As the current Aquino administration approximately has only 2 years, 3 months and 26 days (before the big elections) as of this writing, the cloudy prospect of airport completion is becoming more of a reality.
President Aquino had promised to finish by this year the construction, the biggest single national government investment for Bicol that could boost the region’s tourism and regional economic development goals. But in reality, the construction is in the doldrum. (With report from PNA – Rhaydz B. Barcia)