Dev’t councils urged to press DOTr on Iloilo airport expansion

The growing congestion at the Iloilo airport in the town of Cabatuan has prompted calls to expand the terminal facility. (F.A. Angelo photo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, who also chairs the Infrastructure Development Committee of the Regional Development Council 6 (RDC-6), is urging development councils in the region to draft a new resolution to expedite the expansion of the Iloilo International Airport.

“I am requesting the local development council and the RDC to come up with another resolution para ma follow up ta gid,” Treñas said in an interview on Tuesday.

The city mayor disclosed that he plans to meet with the office of Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista.

He added that the city council is also planning to pass a resolution on the airport’s expansion in its regular session tomorrow Wednesday.

Treñas emphasized the need to expedite the submission of all necessary resolutions for the airport expansion before the end of November.

On the RDC’s side, he explained that they have consistently sent out resolutions to the DOTr but received delayed responses, which he noted causes concern.

“May mga resolutions kita sa RDC. Waay gid sang notice sa amun, amo na nga daw concerned na ko because daw nadugayan and it’s really about time kay gutok na gid. Kung magpaManila kamo, gagutok na da ang pasahero. Kung kis a wala ka na sang pulungkuan,” he said.

The Provincial Development Council Executive Committee chaired by Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. on Monday passed two resolutions regarding the expansion of the Iloilo airport.

The first resolution requested Prime Asset Ventures, Inc. (PAVI) to submit all the documentary requirements to the DOTr regarding their unsolicited proposal valued at P6.89 billion.

Meanwhile, the second resolution requested the DOTr to expedite the evaluation of the unsolicited proposal of PAVI.

In attendance during the PDC meeting were National Economic and Development Authority-Western Visayas director Arecio A. Casing Jr. and airport manager Manuela Luisa F. Palma.

On October 6, PAVI conducted an ocular inspection of the Iloilo airport to check its facilities such as the passenger terminal, runway, and control tower, among others.

According to Palma, PAVI also requested several necessary documents from them to augment their unsolicited proposal based on the new Build-Operate-Transfer law implementing rules and regulations and the 2022 Investment Coordination Committee Guidelines and Checklists in processing public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

The expansion of the airport will be through a PPP model under the unsolicited proposal of Prime Asset Ventures, Inc. which is valued at P6.89 billion.

The proposed expansion of the Iloilo Airport covers the upgrade of the passenger terminal building, construction of an apron adjacent to the passenger terminal building, installation of the required equipment for the passenger services, and modernization of the appurtenant facilities.

Defensor previously said that the problem in the airport is very practical and the congestion in the facility is about to reach the pre-pandemic levels.

The Iloilo airport currently serves seven domestic flights with a daily total of 20 flights, and its passenger terminal has a capacity of 450 passengers, accommodating up to 1.2 million passengers annually.