By Alex P. Vidal
“Urgency creates decision making.”—Kevin Brady
SIXTEEN years ago when it opened in 2007, the Iloilo Airport was considered to be the fifth busiest airport in the Philippines, but not as busy compared today where there have been recorded arrivals of 2,550 passengers including infants; while the departure traffic reached as high as 2,876 adults and infant passengers, in one day, in the month of September this year, according to Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)-Airport terminal supervisor Art Parreño as reported.
Proponents of the airport project, including the Regional Development Council for Western Visayas (RDC), which endorsed the project to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for its approval in July 1997, didn’t anticipate the number of departing and arriving passengers to increase by leaps and bounds in the years when Iloilo became the investment and tourism hubs in this part of the country; when there would be an uptick in population of daily travelers.
When the airport has been improved and modernized, more investment opportunities will arrive not only in Iloilo but also in other provinces in Panay Island, including the Island Province of Guimaras.
Thus, the endorsement and support of the Iloilo Business Club (IBC) and the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation, Inc. (ILED), which has pushed for a public-private partnership (PPP) to enhance the Iloilo Airport and address the airport’s deteriorating condition promptly, was timely now that both Iloilo City Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas and Iloilo Gov. Arthur “Toto” Defensor Jr. have joined forces in appealing to the national government through the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to hasten the airport’s proposed expansion.
In order to prioritize the Iloilo Airport, it might be best also for proponents of the revival of the Panay Railways to hold this ambitious project in abeyance to pave the way for the airport’s full expansion.
We can’t ask two elephants at the same time. In infrastructure projects, one has to give way in order for the most important project to be realized.
We trust the wisdom of the national government under President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to hear the requests of the Ilonggos and their business and political leaders: the Iloilo airport expansion is necessary and urgent.
Even if Israel and Palestine are oceans away from the Philippines, Filipinos must continue to monitor the tumult that has erupted in the Gaza Strip, now the center of storm, so to speak, as death toll continued to rise among innocent civilians, especially children, women, and elderly, starting when Israel launched a massive air attack to avenge the October 7 horror when Hamas terrorists massacred more than a thousand civilians in southern Israel, including a horrific carnage that maimed and mangled 260 participants in the music festival.
Nearly eight in 10 Americans fear the war that erupted this week between Israel and Hamas will lead to a broader war in the Middle East, according to the latest PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll.
With seven in 10 U.S. adults saying they are closely following what is happening, the anxiety about further escalation is shared across political affiliation, geography, gender, race, income, education and age. Over a third of U.S. adults said they were “very concerned” about wider violence in the region, according to this latest poll.
Hamas militants made an unprecedented incursion into Israel during the early hours of Oct. 7, firing thousands of rockets and sending fighters past Israel’s blockade of Gaza to launch deadly attacks on several communities and take scores of hostages.
The combined death toll from both the surprise assault as well as Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in response has risen to at least 2,800 lives. Let’s continue to pray for peace.
SEXUAL INFORMATION AND EDUCATION.
—WE CAN’T WEAR SOCKS ALL THE TIME TO HIDE THEM: Men with unkempt feet is the biggest turnoff for women.
—THANK GOD I DON’T SMOKE AND I WEAR JOGGING PANTS MOST OF THE TIME. Two leading causes of temporary impotence are prolonged cigarette smoking and tight pants.
—THAT’S WHY WE SHOULD BE KIND TO ANIMALS, ESPECIALLY TO PENGUINS: (PG 13) According to scientists, the penguin only has one single orgasm in a year. Ahay!
—VENUS AND MARS AGAIN! When it comes to sex, 55 percent of lovers argue about when to stop! (Newsweek)
—People have a tendency to choose partners whose body fat percentage is similar to their own. (Rowett Research Institute)
—THANK GOD THAT WE ARE NOT CREATED AS SPIDERS: According to Animal Kingdom, the black widow spider eats her mate during or after sex!
—ADVICE FROM A SKIN AND BEAUTY THERAPIST: When you wake up in the morning, go to the mirror and smile for at least a minute! After that, do a light exercise!
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)