Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Congress tackles proposed Bulacan airport project; Bulacan solon wary about impact on flooding

Aug 16, 2018 @ 15:21

The proposed airport project in Bulacan was tackled this week by members of the House of Representatives, with a solon from the said province raising concerns on its impact to the lingering problem of flooding there, a statement from the lower house of Congress said Thursday.

The deliberations on the San Miguel Corp.’s proposal was conducted Wednesday by the Congressional Oversight Committee on Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, chaired by Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, and participated in by officials of the Department of Transportation.

The National Economic and Development Authority in April gave the green light for the proposed project that involves the construction, operation and maintenance of the Bulacan International Airport at a cost of P735.634 billion.

It will be implemented on an approximate area of 2,500 hectares in Bulacan municipality, with such components as a passenger terminal building with airside and landslide facilities, and an 8.4-kilomter airport toll road, capable of accommodating 100 million passengers per year.

Jun Pangilinan of the DOTr Air Transportation Division said at the congressional hearing that the DOTr is currently drafting the required Terms of Reference for the conduct of a Swiss Challenge, as they await the review by NEDA and the Department of Finance of the proponent’s revised Concession Agreement and Risk Allocation Matrix.

Bulacan 2nd District Rep. Gavini Pancho sought to inquire about details of the proposed project, including the specific location and its design, as he noted the recent flooding in his home province.

“Kung may airport po tayo divan at nakalubog ang Bulacan, paano po magiging operational ang airport?” he said, even as he also asked for assurance that “other areas, municipalities and cities in Bulacan will not sink in floodwater because of the reclamation that will happen.”

Pancho and a fellow congressman also stressed the importance of getting local officials involved in the planning.

Pangilinan and Public Private Partnership Center Dir. Joseph Manalo said details of the engineering design will eventually be known as the implementation phase of the project comes close.

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