THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation plans to spend P2.5 billion to upgrade at least five airports on the three main islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, Makati City Rep. Luis Jose Angel S. Campos, Jr. said in a statement on Sunday.
The agency’s aviation infrastructure program in the 2023 proposed national budget seeks to allot P1.42 billion for the upgrade of the Tacloban City Airport in Leyte, P500 million for the Antique Airport and P445 million for the Laoag International Airport, the congressman said.
Bukidnon Airport, which is expected to start operations in 2023, would get P80 million, while the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the capital region would get P43 million, said Mr. Campos, who is vice chairman of the House of Representatives committee on appropriations.
“We are all for increased spending to build up our aviation infrastructure across all regions,” he said. “There’s no question that airports are powerful generators of economic growth, jobs and income.”
The Transportation department will receive a P167.1-billion budget next year as proposed by the Executive department.
“We are all for increased spending to build up our aviation infrastructure across all regions,” Mr. Campos said. He said airports help move people and goods, which also benefits consumers and industries especially micro, small and medium enterprises that account for 99% of the country’s almost a million registered enterprises.
He said bigger and better airports would also help the Philippines in disaster preparedness. “They enable us to rapidly deploy emergency first responders as well as relief supplies and equipment to regions hit by typhoons, earthquakes and other natural calamities,” Mr. Campos said.
He said government funding for aviation infrastructure is usually spent to build, rehabilitate or improve runways, taxiways and aprons, air traffic control buildings as well as passenger and cargo terminals.
The money is also spent on aircraft refueling facilities, fire and rescue stations, powerhouses, water and sewage systems and perimeter fencing. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo