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PGMA inspects Siargao airport expansion

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo today inspected the ongoing expansion of the Siargao airport.

Come November, bigger planes from Manila will be able to land in Siargao, thereby improving the province’s accessibility and attractiveness to local and foreign tourists.

The President expressed the hope that eventually these will be daily flights and not just two planes a week (or every Monday and Friday) by Cebu Pacific plying the route from Cebu province.

Upon arriving at the airport, the President was met by Del Carmen Mayor Constantino Navarro IV, Sayak Barangay chairman Samuel Sulima, Siargao Airport officer-in-charge (OIC) Gina Villamor, Transportation and Communication Siargao Airport Project Engr. Nestor Bravo and Philippine National Police (PNP) Surigao del Norte Commander Gilbert Cruz.

President Arroyo, after the project briefing at the airport, said she hopes the incoming administration will not abandon or discard whatever work has been undertaken on the airport and on other infrastructure projects so that residents and tourists, both domestic and foreign, can greatly benefit from their completion.

The President said she is proud that Siargao is now famous not just for its being a surfing capital of the Philippines but for its game fishing and mangrove or everglade river cruises, which are both gaining popularity here and around the world.

Villamor said the runway extension is part of the promises made by the President in her State of the Nation Address (SONA) and is being undertaken jointly by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and its private sector partner, EquiParco of Robin Javier.

Villamor said she is proud that tourism in Siargao is no longer seasonal or only during summer but throughout the year. Tourists are both foreign and locals who brave the strong waves during the rainy season to pursue their love for open sea sports.

The 24-million terminal expansion, which is 60 percent complete, entailed the renovation of the administration building and the passenger terminal facilities.

To be able to make Siargao airport world class by 2015, Villamor said that she is hopeful the incoming administration would support the Arroyo administration’s programs to modernize the country’s ports and airports, she said.

Siargao Airport was built in 1964 by President Arroyo’s father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal, but was renovated and upgraded only in 2008 to accommodate more flights other than the small-bodied planes. (Rose dela Cruz)

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