By Dominic I. Sanchez
A senior Palace official is hopeful that the construction of a new Zamboanga airport will commence within the term of President Duterte.
In a media interaction earlier this month, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the construction of a new airport catering to more international flights is “a possibility.”
“The President wants to bring more economic opportunities in the regions to decongest Metro Manila. The construction of this new airport will be a big factor (to create more opportunities),” Nograles said.
He explained that with a new airport here, foreign tourists and investors will no longer have the inconvenience to travel via Manila to Zamboanga. “They would then be able to travel directly here.”
Nograles affirms that Zamboanga is a key economic driver in Mindanao’s tourism and trade considering its strategic geographical location, and sees more development here.
Last year, high-ranking Cabinet officials including the late Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Datu Hj. Abul Khayr Alonto and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III shared the same optimism on the realization of this long-desired dream of Zamboangueños.
A City Government report places the proposed budget for the airport at around P9.87-billion, the funding of which will be the fruit of a public-private partnership.
The proposed site is within the barangays Mercedes-Talabaan areas, about 17 kilometers away from the city proper. The airport is expected to be a world-class infrastructure with state of the art facilities. (First published by PIA9-Zamboanga City, Aug. 28, 2019)