ZAMBOANGA CITY: Close to P14 billion has been earmarked by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the relocation and construction of a new Zamboanga International Airport (ZIA) in a venue outside the city proper.
Rolando Macasaet, chairman and acting president of the Government Service Insurance System, recently said the inclusion of the new airport in President Rodrigo Duterte’s Build, Build, Build infrastructure program was recently disclosed to him by Vivencio “Vince” Dizon, Malacañang adviser for flagship programs and projects.
Dizon announced that of 75 total projects initially included in the program, “only 32, including the new ZIA, made it to the final list, which was released early last week by his office.”
As a priority project under the DPWH, the new Zamboanga airport has been assured of necessary funding (some P14 billion) and its implementation starting early next year, he told Macasaet.
Macasaet then advised Zamboanga City government officials, headed by Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, to undertake appropriate measures by coordinating with necessary local and national agencies for the implementation of the airport project.
Earlier, Second District Rep. Manuel Dalipe Jr. was able to work for the appropriation of P200 million as initial allocation for the new ZIA, which will be transferred to Mercedes coastal village, some 20 kilometers away from the city proper.
Mayor Climaco-Salazar said the area would be converted to a business commercial center to enable the city to raise its annual income once the ZIA at present vacates its five-hectare site at Barangay Baliwasan.
She added that owners of commercial establishments have personally indicated their intention to construct high-rise structures at the site of the old airport.