Various business groups in Iloilo have joined the call of the city and provincial governments for the expansion of the Iloilo International Airport.
The Iloilo Economic Development Foundation, Inc. (ILED), in a statement on Thursday, urged the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines for “swift action to enhance the airport’s deteriorating state.”
“As the primary international and domestic gateway to the Western Visayas region, the airport’s outdated facilities and limited infrastructures have hindered economic growth and potential. ILED emphasizes the critical need for a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) approach to expedite the much-needed upgrades and ensure sustainable, world-class airport services,” the statement, signed by its chairman Terence Uygongco, said.
Uygongco said through the PPP, they can “leverage expertise and resources, ensuring efficient upgrades and long-term maintenance,” benefiting Iloilo residents and visitors.
President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Iloilo chapter, Fulbert Woo, in an interview, cited the importance of upgrading the airport to cater to the growing number of passengers and business and trade promotions.
He said they would come up with a position paper calling for the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to fast-track the expansion.
Iloilo Business Club vice president Ma. Luisa Segovia said they support any improvement and expansion of the airport.
“We are promoting investment, tourism so the improvement or expansion should not be delayed,” she said.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas and Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. have been calling for the improvement of the facility as it is already congested.
After meeting with DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista on Sept. 29, the Iloilo Provincial Development Council Executive Committee, chaired by the governor, passed two resolutions on Oct. 8, first requesting the Prime Asset Ventures, Inc. to submit all documentary requirements to the DOTr in line with its unsolicited proposal amounting to PHP6.89 billion, and for the DOTr to expedite the evaluation of the proposal.
Treñas, on the other hand, will also ask the local development council of the city and the Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council) to pass a resolution calling for the expansion.
Iloilo Airport terminal supervisor Art Parreño said the daily passenger traffic in September reached 2,533 for arrivals and 2, 852 for departing passengers.
Almost the same number was recorded in August, with 2,599 arriving passengers and 2,870 for departure traffic. (PNA)