Photo Courtesy: Phil JAC

The New Iloilo Airport at Cabatuan, Iloilo

News Blog about the New Iloilo Airport

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Drilon: New Iloilo airport is graft-free

The Guardian Iloilo. Sept 30, 2006

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE new Iloilo airport in Cabatuan-Sta. Barbara area will be open to the public way ahead of the graft-riddled Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 3 in Manila, Senator Franklin Drilon said.

Drilon visited the P6-billion project yesterday to personally see the accomplishments of the Japanese contractor Taisei-Shimizu Joint Venture amid issues of graft and corruption hounding the project.

“I am very pleased with the accomplishments. The airport will open ahead of the Naia terminal 3 which is saddled with graft and corruption involving the Philippine International Air Terminals Corporation (Piatco),” Drilon said.

Piatco, the private firm that constructed and was supposed to manage Terminal 3, is wholly owned by Fraport AG (Operator of Frankfurt airport in Germany) and other financial institution and business groups who allegedly succeeded in cornering a number of lucrative contracts at the Naia complex ranging from cargo handling, aircraft maintenance to passenger service.

Citing his conversation with TSJV engineers, Drilon said the new Iloilo airport is already 77 percent complete “which is four percent higher than the targeted accomplishment.”

The construction of the new airport began April 14, 2004 and is expected to be finished late this year or early 2007.

“We expect the turnover of the project on March 19, 2007 after which the inaugural flight will be held. The progress of the contraction is within schedule,” Drilon said.

The new airport was funded by a loan from the Japanese Obuchi special facility worth P5.2 billion. Under the Obuchi facility, the interest for the loan is pegged at 0.75 percent with a loan repayment of 30 years. A seven-year grace period is given on the principal amount.

“This (fast progress of the construction) is the result if the project is free of graft and corruption,” Drilon said.

Drilon was accompanied by Governor Niel Tupas, former agrarian reform secretary Rene Villa, provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada, TSJV engineers and employees and other provincial officials.

The Guardian Iloilo. Sept 30, 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006

Senator inspects New Iloilo Airport, rehab center

Sunstar Iloilo, Saturday, September 30, 2006

SENATOR Franklin Drilon arrives Friday to inspect two new projects of the Iloilo Provincial Government--the New Iloilo International Airport Project in Sta. Barbara and the New Iloilo Rehabilitation Center (IRC) in Nanga, Pototan.

Drilon will be accompanied by his wife and ex-secretary Rene Villa.

They were scheduled to at the Mandurriao Airport at 9:30 am and would proceed to Sta. Barbara to take a look at the New Airport Project.

Drilon was set to conduct an ocular inspection of the airport together with Governor Niel Tupas Sr. at 10 a.m. and would proceed to IRC at 11 a.m.

With the media, Drilon would inspect the facilities of the new rehab center and would go back to Tatoy's Manokan in Villa at Iloilo City for lunch.

There, a press conference would be conducted.

They will then proceed to West Visays State University Medical Center (WVSU-MC) to inspect the dialysis center and go to the Pavia covered gym afterwards to join Mayor Arcadio Gorriceta for his birthday celebration. (LABB)

Sunstar Iloilo, Saturday, September 30, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Philippines To Open NAIA-Terminal 3, Two World Class Airports
Monday September 18, 2006

MANILA, Sept 18 Asia Pulse - The Philippine government will open three new world-class airports, including the controversial Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 towards the end of the first quarter of 2007.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro R. Mendoza said that barring legal constraints and technical problems, NAIA-3 will be fully operational by March next year.

Mendoza told the weekly news forum "Kapihan ng Bayan" hosted by Secretary Cerge M. Remonde of the Government Mass Media Groulp on Monday that the two other world class airports that will start operation also during the first quarter of 2007 are Iloilo Airport in Iloilo City and the Silay Airport in Negros Occidental.

He said the government is determined to open the multi-billion pesos NAIA-3 which has been the subject of controvery for sometime now.

"I believe that with whats happening today, its all systems go. Of course, if there no more constraints coming from the court, we have the roadmap and hopefully by the end of the first quarter next year, we might be able to open the airport for commercial operations," Mendoza said.

Mendoza also said that they already received an order from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to fastrack the opening of the NAIA-3.

Aside from the legal issues, Mendoza said they are also addressing the structural foundation of the NAIA-3, apparently referring to an incident when a ceiling of the modern terminal fell.

He said the department has also to deal with three international organizations International Civil Aviation Organization, Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration to determine the structural integrity, security and safety of the airport.

The opening of the Iloilo Airport and Silay Airport will further boost tourism in the country.

"Hopefully, by the end of the first quarter next year, we are opening three major gateways to our country," Mendoza said.

MIAA General Manager Alfonso Cusi, on the other hand, said they are now preparing for the completion of the unfinished portions of the NAIA-3 which include the electro-mechnical and software systems needed to run the terminal.

The new terminal is 98 percent complete.

Cusi also said that Japanese contractor Takenaka Corp. has already agreed to repair the collapsed ceiling at the terminal-3 at their own expense.

However, Cusi, said they are evaluating and assessing the entire ceiling following the findings of the Association Structural Engineers Philippines that the cause of collapse was due to poor workmanship.

Cusi said they also asked the Takenaka to explain first the methodology of repair that the latter will undertake the repair.

The government took over the NAIA 3 late last year and operation was slated last June 21 but was put off due to some legal problems.

The legal impediment arises from a suit filed by Fraport AG, the German partner in Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (PIATCO), the Filipino-German consortium originally contracted to build and operate the terminal.

The Supreme Court and the Presidential Office nullified the PIATCO contract in 2002.

Fraport filed a US$425 million claim against the Philippine government before a Washington arbitration court in September 2003. It also sued the Philippine government for US$ 900 million.

Another suit was filed by PIATCO before arbitration court in Singapore for the Philippine government to compensate $ 525 million.

In December 2005, the Supreme Court ordered the government to pay PIATCO P3.002 billion (US$60 million) as initial payment so it could issue a writ of possession to NAIA-3.

NAIA 3 is built to handle 13 million passengers a year. Its new terminal has 140 check-in counters on five islands, nine baggage carousels and 120 immigration counters.