Customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) services are worked on for the eventual operation of international flights at the new Bohol airport in Panglao and, in the meantime, Tagbilaran City airport.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is soon to approve the plantilla positions for the Bohol airport while ensuring the inclusion of the needed allocations in the 2017 national budget.
Lawyer Rico Rey Holganza, officer-in-charge of the BOC, Port of Cebu, pushed for the approval by the central office thru Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina and Director Exequiel Cempron, head of the International Administration Group.
In a resolution earlier this year, Gov. Edgar Chatto led the Provincial Development Council (PDC) in enjoining the BOC, Bureau of Immigration (BI), Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Health (DOH) to include in their 2017 budgets the CIQ services.
Customs, immigration and quarantine services are mandated and basically required for international flights while direct Korea-Bohol chartered flights using the Tagbilaran airport are eyed to open this year.
The existing city airport has a new emergency ramp or parking area for urgent situation.
Eventually, the Panglao airport will accommodate all Bohol international and domestic flights when it will be operational in early 2018 after its construction completion in December 2017.
Rep. Rene Relampagos has this early pushed for additional terminal building at Panglao airport in anticipation of heavier passenger traffic after the initial years of its operation.
â€œIâ€™m very bias, Iâ€™m very bullish about the new airport to get past its capacity faster than we can imagine,â€ said Relampagos who presently chairs the congressional tourism committee.
A prime eco-cultural tourism destination, Bohol demands an efficient and seamless transport infrastructure and logistics to improve its competitiveness and sustain economic growth.
Last week, visiting members of the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) validated Bohol as one of the fastest growing tourism, convention and learning destinations.
They were even impressed by the provinceâ€™s striking recovery from the greatest earthquake to hit the island in recorded history.
Bohol is answering its need for convenient connectivity of travel via Panglao airport and, while it is yet constructed, the city airport also to accelerate the other economic drivers.
The Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) and Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants (BAHRR) jointly manifested the need to set up this early the CIQ system for the Panglao airport.
While Panglao airport is not yet finished and used, the CIQ services are to cater to Tagbilaran airportâ€™s regional/international flights, taking advantage of foreign guestsâ€™ increasing demand for air travel to and from Bohol.
Chatto the other Friday met in Manila with transportation and civil aviation agency officials and airline representatives on the programs hastening Boholâ€™s emergence as the new direct international air travel destination. (Ven rebo Arigo)