Hope springs eternal for Iloilo Airport repair

By Alex P. Vidal

“There’s something magic about airports it’s like standing in a room with a thousand doors.”― Atticus Poetry, The Truth About Magic

THE proposed expansion and rehabilitation of the Iloilo International Airport or Iloilo Airport is an infrastructure project the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. should prioritize and expedite.

The airport, located in Cabatuan, Iloilo, is a vital cog economically and politically.

The sooner it will be expanded and rehabilitated through the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme, according to Department of Transportation (DOTr), the better for both the Ilonggos and the image of the Marcos administration.

We are glad proponents of the expensive project decided to vigorously push for it even after the Iloilo Airport had been left out of the 2024 budget for DOTr’s infrastructure development based on the list released earlier this year by Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr., vice chairperson of the House committee on appropriations.

The DOTr now sounds optimistic about the airport’s proposed expansion and rehabilitation. Hope, indeed, springs eternal.

In 2028, when Mr. Marcos relinquishes the presidency due to constitutional limitation, he won’t find it hard to seek the help of the Ilonggos for the next president he wishes to support and endorse.

The Ilonggos, ever-a grateful people, would not forget that the 16-year-old Iloilo Airport underwent a major repair and improvement under the Marcos administration.


All the Marcos administration needed was a joint resolution from the Regional Development Council’s Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) and Economic Development Committee (EDC) urging DOTr and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to expedite the review of the unsolicited proposals (USP).

The Villar-led Prime Asset Ventures, Inc. (PAVI) has submitted a USPs in the amount of P6.89 billion and Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (AIC) in the amount of P9.95 billion for the mammoth project.

They will now be up for evaluation by the Investment Coordination Committee of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).


IF WE’RE LOW ON SILVER POLISH, LET’S USE TOOTHPASTE: Plain, non-gel toothpaste (without additives like whiteners) can rid small silver pieces of light tarnish without damaging the surface. Moisten the silver piece; apply a bit of toothpaste to our finger. Rub gently and rinse, then buff with a soft cloth. (Source: Goodhousekeeping)

NO DISHWASHING LIQUID? Let’s grab the laundry detergent. A teaspoonful of liquid laundry detergent in a basin of hot water will cut grease on dirty dishes equally well (though we may want to wear gloves, as detergent can be drying to hands).

SEXOMNIA is the term US scientists use for people who perform sexual activities unconsciously during sleep. The spectrum ranges from masturbation to sexual intercourse – in the event that that the sexsomnia patient comes across a partner. (Source: Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine).

NOT GUILTY. That’s the verdict on fertility drugs and the possibility that they increase woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer. Doctors had long worried that there might be such a link. But now Danish researchers have analyzed records of 54,362 women and found, over an average 16-year follow up, that those who took fertility drugs faced no greater risk of cancer.


U.S. PASSPORT PROCESSING times have returned to pre-pandemic norm. As of December 18, 2023, passport applications will be processed within 6-8 weeks for routine service and 2-3 weeks for expedited service, which costs an additional $60.

“With this update, we have fulfilled our commitment to return to benchmarks from March 2020,” reported the U.S. Department of State. “This reflects the work of dedicated employees working for the American people.”

In 1990, only five percent of Americans had a passport. Today, that number is 48 percent. More Americans can travel abroad now than at any time in our history.

There are now over 160 million valid U.S. passports in circulation (nearly double the amount from 2007).

This past year, the Department experienced unprecedented demand for passports.

Between October 2022 and September 2023 (the federal fiscal year), the Department of State issued over 24 million passport books and cards – the highest amount ever in our nation’s history.

“We have worked hard to modernize and improve the service we provide to the American people. We will continue to do so in 2024,” the US Department of State announced further.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)