Panglao, Bohol — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the inauguration of the P8.9-billion Bohol-Panglao International Airport (BPIA) here on Tuesday, November 27.
In his speech, President Duterte assured Boholanos of the government’s full support in making the province more accessible to tourists through its newly-constructed airport, which is expected to serve as an alternate gateway to Central Visayas.
“This modern airport will serve local and international tourists who would like to experience the beauty of Panglao. It will also address the problem of our growing traffic congestion and accelerate economic activities in the region,” President Duterte said.
“Be assured of this government’s full support as you make Bohol more accessible to the world through this new airport,” he added.
He stressed that it would be the perfect time for tourists to explore the wonders of Bohol urging Filipinos “to demonstrate solidarity in our shared task of building a stronger and more robust society for all.”
Dubbed as the “Green Gateway to the World,” the Panglao airport was built in cooperation with the Government of Japan supported and funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
With a total project cost amounting to P8.914 billion, the facility was built in a 220-hectare site in Panglao Island, which is 10 times bigger than Tagbilaran Airport’s 22-hectare land area.
With its larger space, it is expected to accommodate two million passengers annually, more than double the capacity of Tagbilaran Airport. It can also accommodate four large jets such as Boeing 777s and Airbus 330s, or seven small jets like Airbus 321s or 200s.
It was likewise declared to be the first eco-airport in the country. And we take great pride in its complete airport facilities that feature green and sustainable structures, such as solar panels and motion sensor lighting, among others.
When it comes to its architectural design, BPIA features undulating roofs inspired by the world famous Chocolate Hills and the waves from the beaches in Panglao.
With the new airport’s opening, the local government will then order the Tagbilaran Airport closed, as it will be developed into a business park.
Also present during the event were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, National Economic Development Authority Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Director General Captain Jim Sydiongco, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, and Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero.
Duterte fires two OPAPP execs, accepts Dureza’s resignation
Meanwhile, President Duterte revealed that he has fired an undersecretary and a director from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
“I fired Usec Ronald Flores from the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Peace Process. And there is a guy there working; he has a — the position is Director IV, Yeshter Donn Baccay,” he said during the inauguration rites.
Following the incident, Duterte said OPAPP chief Jesus Dureza had tendered his resignation, which he accepted.
“I’m very sad that I accepted the resignation of Secretary Dureza,” he said, noting that he is set to fire another official soon.
In a media interview after the event, the President admitted that the reason for the dismissal of the two officials was corruption and Dureza treated the matter as “command responsibility.”
“So he thought that it was only proper that with the involvement of his two subordinates — he offered to resign and I accepted his resignation,” he said.
Asked if he is considering to give Dureza another post, the President said, “He did not ask for anything,” adding that all positions in his Cabinet are occupied. ###PND