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Laguindingan International Airport to be completed in 2011

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ONE of the flagship projects of the Arroyo administration under the Mindanao Super Region program, the construction of the Laguindingan International Airport in Laguindingan town, Misamis Oriental is set to be completed in 2011.

Engr. Delia Capicenio, project manager of the Laguindingan Airport Development Project (LADP), announced this during a recent press conference with Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar S. Moreno in Cagayan de Oro City.

She said the airport will be constructed based on international standards.

In giving an update of the LADP, she reported that the acquisition of the affected properties for the airport’s access roads undertaken by the provincial government of Misamis Oriental, under the leadership of Gov. Moreno is now 100% complete.

She added that the construction of the access roads at a cost of P188 million, started in July 2007 and is now 28.27% accomplished.

The work includes road embankment and excavation and sub-grade preparation. Target date of completion is in August 2008.

The main civil works of the airport at a cost of P4.991 billion started on January 18, this year, is now 0.38% completed.

The works include the establishment of consultant and contractors temporary facilities, mobilization of contractor’s resources at site such as materials, labor, equipment, and site cleaning, among others, Capicenio reported, adding that the target date of completion is on January 17, 2012.

However, the air navigation and support facilities that would cost P708 million will still be bid out this year.

The project engineer revealed that on August 30, last year, the ICC Technical Board and Cabinet Committee jointly approved the revised project cost of the airport of P7.853 billion or an equivalent of US$167.09 million, wherein an additional loan of US$84.33 million or P2.467million, was favorably endorsed in addition to the former project cost of P5.385 billion in 2002.

The reason behind the additional cost is due to inflation where the cost of labor, materials, supplies, and equipment, among others, including taxes had already increased.

Capicenio said the previous estimate of the project cost by a consultant in 2002 considered utilizing the facilities of the Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro, but since current aircrafts are now bigger, the consultant decided to redesign the Laguindingan International Airport in such a way that it can cater to the actual needs of the facility, and not only based on a study made more than 10 years ago.

She said the total project cost of the airport, which is P7.853 billion, is funded from a loan undertaken by the Philippine government with the government of Korea.

Our government, she said, sourced out loans from various creditors in Korea namely, the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCP) for the original loan of US$22.40 million; EDCP for the supplemental or additional loan amount of US$8.2 million; Export credit, US$62.75 million; Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), US$13.38 million; and from the Government of the Phililippines, US$60.36 million–all amounting to US$167.09 million or P7.853 billion.

She said the total loan is payable in 20 years, with a grace period of 10 years, the repayment of which will start two years from now or in 2010 and to be shouldered by the national government.

She also reported that the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) already started drawing from the loan proceeds that were used in advance payments for contractors.

Capicenio said once this international airport is completed and operational, it will create employment, boost the economy of Laguindingan town where the airport is situated, the province of Misamis Oriental, the neighboring municipalities and cities in the northern Mindanao region, and Mindanao as a whole.

She said the airport will not only cater to international flights, but also domestic flights and because of this, DOTC will then close down the Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro City.

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