Leyte lawmaker opposes Tacloban airport transfer

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LEYTE Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Sunday challenged President Benigno Aquino 3rd to rehabilitate first the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) before even thinking of transferring the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport (DZRA) in Tacloban City.

Romualdez expressed doubt on the ability of President Aquino to initiate the transfer of the Tacloban City airport because of his failure to introduce rehabilitation and repair works at NAIA.

“I believe he should focus first on the rehabilitation of NAIA 1 that was declared the worst airport in the world and not the relocation of our airport,” he said.

The lawmaker was reacting to an earlier statement of the President that he was thinking of transferring the Tacloban airport, considered as the tourism and industry gateway in Region 8.


He said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had denied their supposed study recommending the relocation of the airport following the Yolanda tragedy last November 8, 2013.

“A dozen stakeholders from JICA, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and other industry players were unanimous in saying that they were against the transfer. We are quite surprised that the President is recommending that,” Romualdez pointed out.

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez said the government would need around P10 billion to P12 billion to relocate the airport.

“Our apprehension there is when you talk about transferring, it would cost billions of pesos. My God! We are having difficulty building the houses for the Yolanda victims, and we’re talking about transferring the airport?” the Romualdez said.

The mayor said JICA agreed with the stance of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) of keeping the airport in its current location.

“Basically, what I’m saying is that I’m not against the transfer of the airport, I’m saying that we don’t make rush decisions. We have to look at that very carefully because it will affect our economy,” he stressed.

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4 Comments

  1. They can rename it without having to relocate it. The can rename it as Noynoy Aquino Memorial airport so people will not forget his criminal negligence during yolanda

  2. Bonifacio Claudio on

    Yes, changing the name, huh?! How about MIA to NAIA, huh?! The “Yellow Anti-Midas Touch” of the Yellow Pnoy & cohorts turned everything into mud where all of them wallow in all greed like all Pigs. Look at MIA-NAIA now, huh?! The regions concerned have all the reasons to be alarmed of an impending catastrophic intervention of all these “Yellow Anti-Midas Touch” ventures. Getz mo poh?!

  3. Of course Mr. Romualdes is against. It will change the airport name. But the truth is the airport is not located close to the adjacent provinces and towns and susceptible to storm surge and direct path of typhoons.
    The current airport can be converted into a park or tourism spot. The new airport should be named “Yolanda”.

    • It is all about prioritization, Mr.

      First things, first, as my Grade I Teacher used to tell the class.

      It is not the issue about changing the name of the airport. Please consult the NCCA, or better, read the Local Government Code, for enlightenment.