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January 12, 2008

Arroyo assures completion of Misamis Oriental airport

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pledged Thursday that the P7.853 billion (US$190 million) Laguindingan Airport Development Project (LADP) will be completed before she bows out of office in 2010.

The President made the assurance during the briefing conducted by Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza on the status of the government's flagship project.

The airport complex, which straddles the boundary of Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City, will serve as the main access point for trade and industry between northern Mindanao and the rest of the country.

The LADP envisages the development of a major trunkline airport of international standard to meet increasing air transport demand and promote the accelerated development of the region.

As of last month, the project management had already acquired 98 per cent of the lots from private individuals affected by the airport's right-of-way.

In addition to the 88.44 hectares donated by the Ayala Corporation for the project, the Makati-based firm is donating 94.04 hectares more to the LADP, subject to the approval of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

The DAR will decide on the conversion of the Ayala industrial property in the area from agricultural to industrial use.

The President was informed that the relocation of settlers in the area was going apace, with 54.46 per cent of the residents affected by the project already resettled.

The construction of the airport's perimeter fence is already 90 per cent complete, the airport access road 18.76 per cent.

The contractor of the main airport civil works is Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co., Ltd of South Korea.

The contract for the project was signed on Dec. 28, 2007, while the notice to proceed with the construction of the facility was issued last week.

The President thanked Ayala Corp. for donating the land needed for the airport complex. She added that when completed, the project would "attract industrial estates adjacent to the airport."

Courtesy PNA

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