Construction of the P56.5-million Ubay Airport Phase 1 in Barangay Camambugan will start this year.
Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2ndÂ District)Â said Engr. Raul Glorioso, department manager of the Aerodrome Development and Management Service of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), broke the news to him during the latterâ€™s visit last week.
Glorioso said the project that Aumentado had been doggedly following up â€“ is the same requested by his namesake father and immediate congressional predecessor Erico Boyles Aumentado from CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss III five years ago. His efforts were rewarded when Hotchkiss last year showed him CAAPâ€™s finalized 2016 budget submitted to Congress.
Its near-realization was bolstered when Deputy Director General Rodante Joya, last year showed him a copy of CAAPâ€™s 2016 Annual Procurement Plan (APP) that allocated such amount for the improvement of the runway, construction of a terminal building and of a water reservoir.
Up for construction next year would be the apron, water system, fire department building and improvements to the runway.
Aumentado is gunning for a three-km runway. His team is even readying 3.6-kms of which 1.2 kms by three meters wide are already concreted.
Glorioso brought with him a technical team that, together with Aumentado and his consultants â€“ Romeo Teruel for airports, Antonieto Pernia for livelihood and Norris Oculam for business, and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Nestor Canda conducted an initial consultation with the land claimants.
At the consultation, Canda and Teruel clarified that once the proposed runway, terminal building and apron are delineated, all the proposed airport needs is a presidential proclamation to effect the land use conversion.
The solon sees this as virtually done considering that the lands in Camambugan are mostly cultivated or agricultural with no high rise buildings are nearby.
The improvement of the Ubay airport will be in preparation for the feeder of the Panglao Airport and the Mactan International Airport, flying school hub in the Central Visayas in the near future, and even commercial flights.
For his part, Pernia said Panglao is becoming a mature product. It is high time that Bohol develops another area of interest for tourists to keep the influx flowing. Ubay is ideal â€“ this being closer to the white beaches of Anda which is but only a 30-45 minute trip on well paved roads compared to TAgbilaran that would be some two hours away. Ubay is also near the adventure invites of Danao and the Chocolate Hills of Carmen.
Since Ubay already has two seaports, one of which is all-weather, add the airport and the vast still relatively undeveloped lands, Boholâ€™s northeastern corridor would be ideal for an economic zone.
Oculam confirmed this, saying his businessman-friend who owns a small airline company, has expressed feelers that he would like to fly the Davao-Ubay route. The planes would still be jets, not the propeller type.
The airport and the seaports, he added, would definitely be come-ons for businesses to set up shops or relocate to Bohol.
The solon had waxed sentimental when he said the project would be another dream-come-true for his father.Â (June S. Blanco)