LEGAZPI CITY: President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to finish the construction of the P4.8-billion Bicol International Airport (BIA) in three years, infusing fresh budget to spawn economic growth in the region.
“Bicol International Airport will be finished within two to three years. You’re lucky because you have two airports. In my time it will, be finished without corruption,” Duterte told The Manila Times during the ground breaking here on Thursday.
Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda of the 2nd District of Albay, the original proponent of the BIA, said the President’s decisive action gave a new boost to the project never before felt since its inception over a decade ago.
Salceda said the completion of BIA is very critical in the development of the countryside and the Duterte administration is helping implement it.
“In the past administration, it took them three years to review the plan while the Duterte administration took only four months to bid it out, and awarded it in just one day,” he said.
Salceda said the construction of international airport here will increase economic activities as an airline company management is planning to make Bicol International Airport a hub and staging point for the Visayas and Mindanao.
The Duterte administration, according to Salceda, provided another P850 million for the expansion of the international airport here.
The construction of the international airport went through birth pains and setbacks. Local businessman Elizaldy Co won thrice in the concluded bidding during the Aquino administration but did not get the contract. Instead, it was awarded to another contractor from Manila.
Dante Jimenez, regional convenor of Federalismo in Bicol, said the construction of international airport here will spur rapid development.
Jimenez said that once federalism is approved as a form of government for the Philippines, the region can manage its own resources and more investments will pour in, including for manufacturing activities.