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The New Iloilo Airport at Cabatuan, Iloilo

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Gonzalez opposed plans to rename the new Iloilo airport in Cabatuan-Sta. Barbara area to Panay International Airport

Gonzalez on PDA: I am displeased, too
The Guardian Iloilo, 8/11/2006
By Francis Allan L. Angelo

DEPARTMENT of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. is also displeased with the omission of Iloilo City from the Panay Development Authority (PDA).

Gonzalez said over Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo yesterday that he was “so unhappy and disappointed” over the exclusion of his own city from the PDA setup formulated by Tourism Undersecretary Salvador Sarabia and Antique Governor Salvacion Perez.

“Iloilo City is the regional and economic center of Western Visayas. There is no reason to exclude the city from any development effort,” Gonzalez said.

But Gonzalez denied reports that he scolded Perez for the PDA brouhaha.

“I just conferred with her on what happened with the PDA. As a matter of protocol and respect, I cannot scold someone who belongs to our group, especially a local chief executive,” Gonzalez said.

When asked if he referred the PDA issue to President Gloria Arroyo, Gonzalez said he would rather let Sarabia and Perez settle things with Mayor Jerry Treñas.

“I don’t normally bring to the President’s attention concerns that can be solved at the local level,” he said.

Gonzalez also opposed plans to rename the new Iloilo airport in Cabatuan-Sta. Barbara area to Panay International Airport.

Perez had apologized to Treñas during the Regional Development Council (RDC) executive committee meeting Wednesday.

The lady governor and RDC chair said they “unintentionally excluded” Iloilo City from the PDA, which will later be called Panay Tourism Development Authority, due to their excitement in presenting the concept to presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor.

But before Perez’s “I’m sorry”, another blunder almost happened at the RDC meeting when the council left out Iloilo City and Bacolod City from the core membership of the proposed Western Visayas Historical and Cultural Council (WVHCC).

Luckily for the RDC, city planning and development officer Jose Peñalosa and Department of Tourism regional head Edwin Trompeta saved the day for Perez by calling for amendments to the resolution creating the WVHCC.

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