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NEW BOHOL AIRPORT

March 6, 2016March 6, 2016
NO NEED FOR NEW PIER FOR EQUIPMENTS; AIRPORT TO START NEXT MONTH It is now final and official. There is no more need for a temporary seaport in bringing in heavy equipments needed in the construction of the New Bohol Airport in Panglao. This development surfaced after the main contractor, Chiyoda Mitsubishi Joint Venture ( CMJV), a Japanese consortium and sub-contractor EEI Corp. agreed to the “night shift” policy suggested by Gov, Edgar Chatto amid the controversy arising from the rumored plan to construct a temporary pier in barangay Tangan, Panglao town. The suggestion of the governor which seems adopted by the contractors was part of last Sunday’s editorial of The Chronicle. Meanwhile, the new Bohol Airport will officially commence its construction next month. Only recently, the controversial plan for a temporary pier generated strong public opposition citing the environmental destruction it brings in the area. Hauling and transport by heavy equipment of the materials for the 30-month construction of the new Bohol airport will be done nightly until early morning to avoid likely heavy traffic never seen here before. Last Wednesday, Gov. Chatto witnessed the Manila signing between the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the consortium of the deal for the construction of the airport on Panglao island. DOTC Sec. Joseph Emilio Abaya led the signing together with Associate Director and Deputy Division Director Tadayoshi Kimura of Business Development Division of the Chiyoda Corp. and Deputy General Manager and Division Head Masahito Nonaka of the Global Environment & Infrastructure Business Division of the Mitsubishi Corp. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative to the Philippines Noriaki Niwa and Project Formulation Advisor Shimizu Toshihiro of JICA Economic Growth Section also witnessed the sealing, which paves the start of the construction. “Construction will start in June. We appreciate if the airport can be done in one-and-a-half year,” Chatto quoted Abaya as saying during the signing, although the construction from start to finish takes 30 months per contract. In the coordination conference here, the local Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) assured of berthing spaces at the Tagbilaran City port for vessels that carry the equipment and construction materials. Not just the traffic on city roads identified for routes of the equipment and materials to Panglao prosite, port congestion itself is expected to heighten considering the unusual frequent volume loading, hauling and transport. The contractor agreed to haul and transport—at 75 trips daily—during night time, preferably from midnight to six in the morning (6am) when roads are usually not or less used. City traffic is back to busy with the opening of classes in June. The local Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said the bridges along the identified hauling routes from the city to construction site can contain the weight of the loaded equipment with strict regulation observed. As the city port is still undergoing rehabilitation after the earthquake, the port in Alburquerque has been eyed for alternate docking of barges loaded with heavy equipment and construction materials. But according to the PPA, the town port has also been damaged by the earthquake and its repair could cost some P20 million. While the airport contractor is willing to help rehabilitate the port, the entire work is estimated to consume eight months. Rep. Rene Relampagos, who also attended the coordination meeting, agreed with the governor that securing the funding for repair and the process through which project procurement undergoes before the actual concrete works are a different story that also takes time. The First District solon could not attend the Manila signing last Wednesday because of a meeting of the congressional tourism committee which he chairs. The peak period of airport construction is expected to start from the third week of September this year until the middle of February in 2017. Every week within this period, an average of three vessels arrive at the port, loaded with an average volume of almost 6,000 metric tons of materials and requiring 425 truck loads en route to construction site. FREQUENT COORDINATION Chatto and Relampagos would want as shorter interval of regular coordination meetings as possible so that the expected concerns which may hinder fast implementation could get addressed. It is likewise a proactive system to ready measures or policy guidelines for other possible yet unforeseen problems as construction progresses, they said. The Local Project Management Team (LPMT) handled by Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio has been focused on all concerns within its mandate and capacity surrounding the gigantic undertaking. The team presented updates on varied concerns during the coordination meeting, which was also attended by Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero. These concerns include the rerouting of existing Panglao barangay roads that traverse the airport site and have to be closed and cut once construction starts or possible opening of new access roads. Yesterday, Chatto and Relampagos led the signing of the deed of transfer of the resettlement for the project-affected families (PAFs) right at their finished relocation site, which negotiation, preparation, construction, supervision, monitoring and completion had the LMPT at the painstaking front. 11th BUSIEST Once done by the middle or final quarter of 2017, although some say early 2018 is the safest projection, the Panglao airport will replace the Tagbilaran City flight terminal as the 11th busiest airport in the country. Ten times bigger than the city airport, it is foreseen to accommodate 1.7 million air passengers annually, although Chatto and Relampagos is already moving this early to secure support for its expansion in the future. Officially, the project is billed the New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project (NBACSEPP), said to be the first ever package deal assisted by JICA in the country. The airport has been designed to be the Philippines ’ “first world-class eco-friendly, green airport.” (Ven rebo Arigo) The Bohol Chronicle May 31, 2015