By Salvador Santiago
ZAMBOANGA CITY — The construction of a new modern airport in this city is included in the Build, Build, Build Program of President Rodrigo Duterte, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said in an interview Thursday over radio E-105.9-FM here.
Andanar underscored the importance of building a modern airport as this city is the center of trade and commerce of Region 9. The Zamboanga International Airport (ZIA) has been planned to be transferred to Barangays Mercedes and Talabaan area.
“It is symbolic that 500 years ago, we commemorate the arrival of Magellan and showing to the world how resilient is Zamboanga City. What I know is that your airport is included in the Build Build Build Program of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Andanar said.
The PCOO chief promised to coordinate with Department of Transport (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade with regards to the latest update on the airport transfer.
He said the present ZIA will be condemned because the airport is located in a residential area, which runs contrary to aviation law. “The old airport will be condemned kasi may problema yan sa mga bahay. Delikado yan hindi sumusunod sa aviation code,” he said.
Earlier, Second District Representative Jose Manuel Dalipe II said the national government has allocated some P200 million in 2019 for the purchase of lots where to transfer the airport.
Dalipe said that another PHP600 million allocation is included in the 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the purchase of 150 hectares of land for the airport construction.
He said that P1.5 billion is needed to buy the lots needed for the airport facility. The entire project will cost P10 billion. (PNA)