Upgraded Siquijor airport, seaport to boost regional dev’t

THE NEWLY upgraded airport and seaport of Siquijor are projected to boost employment, economic growth, and trade in the Central Visayas, the Transportation department said Thursday.

Officials from the Department of Transportation and the Philippine Ports Authority inaugurated Siquijor’s modernized airport and upgraded seaport on Thursday.

Noon, sampung pasahero lang ang kapasidad ng old airport, ngayon ay pinaganda natin ito at na-expand, nadagdagan ng 50 passengers ang capacity at any given time. In the future, magiging 100 na ito (We expanded the capacity of the old airport to 50 at any given time from 10. This will rise to 100 in the future),” Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said in his speech during the ceremony.

The department said the airport upgrade project covered the construction of a new passenger terminal building, a powerhouse, and a vehicle parking area.

Works are underway to make the airport ready for commercial operations. Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Director General Jim C. Sydiongco said the government will be implementing a P450-million project for the site acquisition, extension, and asphalt overlay of Siquijor airport’s runway.

The improvements are targeted for completion by June 2022, he added.

The Transportation department added: “The Siquijor port development, which started in 2018 and was formally completed early this year, doubles the vessel berthing capacity of the terminal to eight from the previous four vessels, thus enabling it to handle bigger, more sophisticated passenger vessels.”

“It likewise increased the number of Ro-Ro ramps to two, therefore reducing the queueing by more than half the time as well as equipped the terminal with enough capacity to handle a vessel up to 65 meters in length,” it added.

The department hopes both projects will help with social and economic development, growing the tourism industry and expanding opportunity in the province and the region. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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