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Scrap proposed costly, unnecessary Bohol airport

opinion / Latest Opinion
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Scrap proposed costly, unnecessary Bohol airport

/ 01:53 AM December 06, 2013

This is in reaction to Cherry Suico’s letter (“New airport will help Boholanos,” Opinion, 11/15/13).

I am not the only one opposing the construction of the Bohol (Panglao) International Airport. Even before a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Bohol, many economists from outside Bohol and from the province itself had already expressed their opposition to and reservations about the multibillion-peso project because of its staggering cost as against the benefit that Bohol would earn from its operation. It will be the height of naiveté to claim that an international airport is needed in Bohol in order to attract more tourists.

Consider these: How many international flights do our existing international airports in Bacolod-Silay International Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Davao International Airport, etc. serve every day? If the answer is “none,” how can Suico convince us, nonbelievers, that the proposed multibillion-peso Panglao International Airport, will indeed attract more foreign tourists because they will be flying from abroad directly to Bohol?

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Bohol is an island province, unlike Davao, Iloilo and Bacolod (Negros Occidental).

The reality is foreign tourists normally fly in to the Philippines via Manila or Cebu (for obvious and practical reasons, Manila being known as the capital city of the Philippines and Cebu as the Queen City of the South). From there they either take connecting flights or buses or ships to their places of destination for the duration of their stay in the Philippines.

Here are more questions: Does Suico sincerely believe that the proposed Panglao International Airport will not be underutilized and will attract more flights than what present Tagbilaran airport is currently getting? Even if the present traffic at the Tagbilaran airport doubles, will the number justify the P7.2-billion cost, not to mention the overruns, of the project, which could otherwise be used for the rehabilitation of earthquake-hit Bohol, with a few billions of pesos to spare for the construction of a water-impounding dam for power generation and irrigation, which we Boholanos sorely need?

Let us improve/extend our present Tagbilaran City airport and scrap the very expensive proposed P7.2-billion Panglao airport.

—JOSE TAGANAHAN,
joe_taganahan@yahoo.com

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TAGS: Bohol airport, Bohol quake, Earthquake, letters to the editor, opinion
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