SIQUIJOR – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade led the inauguration of the newly-transformed Siquijor Airport on Thursday, 26 August 2021.
“Happy tayo ngayon kasi pinasisinayaan natin itong bagong airport. But I’m telling you, our happiness should be the window that will open to us greater happiness. Noon, sampung pasahero lang ang kapasidad ng old airport, ngayon ay pinaganda natin ito at na-expand, nadagdagan ng 50 passengers ang capacity nito at any given time. In the future, magiging 100 na ito,” Sec. Art said.
“Napakaganda ng Siquijor, nararapat lamang na bigyan natin ng magandang transport infrastructure ang probinsya upang lumago ang negosyo, gumanda ang lokal na ekonomiya, mapabuti ang buhay ng mga residente,” he added.
The upgrading of Siquijor’s gateway was driven by the commitment of the DOTr and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration.
The upgrade of the Siquijor Airport covers the construction of a new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), a powerhouse, and a vehicular parking area.
The new face of the community airport is a stark contrast to its previous sorry state in 2017, when it only had a small and dilapidated terminal. Responding to call of President Rodrigo Duterte for enhanced connectivity and mobility for Filipinos, Sec. Tugade ordered the gateway’s improvement and expansion to meet modern standards.
Additionally, CAAP also completed the repair and maintenance of the airport’s perimeter fence, constructed a concrete path walk, installed runway, taxiway, and apron markings, and further improved the PTB’s interior and exterior in August this year. All of these were accomplished ahead of the target completion date.
Meanwhile, the DOTr, CAAP, and local government of Siquijor continue to work together to ensure the development of Siquijor’s air mobility, accessibility, and connectivity.
In his speech, CAAP Director General Capt. Jim Sydiongco said proposals are now being considered and works are underway to make the airport ready to serve commercial flights.
“In the future, CAAP, DOTr and the Department of Public Works and Highways will be implementing a P450 million project under CY 2021 for the site acquisition, extension, and asphalt overlay of Siquijor airport’s runway, which are targeted to be completed by June 2022,” DG Sydiongco said.
After the inauguration of the upgraded Siquijor Airport, Sec. Art also inauguarated on the same day the improved Siquijor Port.
Siquijor Mayor Richard Quezon expressed his gratitude for the completed upgrade of the airport saying that it will enable the recovery of the province’s tourism industry.
“These upgrades that we have in Siquijor’s Airport and Seaport, we will surely receive benefits that will affect our economy largely. We thank the Secretary for playing his role in the continuous development of our province,” he said.