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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        1  March 2011

Alternative Philippine airport planned

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The government plans to develop an international airport in Luzon as an alternative to Clark and Manila, according to the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

Porvenir Porciuncula, CAB deputy executive director and head of economic planning, said the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has identified Talim Island in Rizal, Bustos and Pandi in Bulacan, Taguig as well as Bataan as “possible” sites for the new international airport.

“The DOTC is still evaluating these areas. They look at the various options,” Porciuncula said, adding that the department will choose one site from among the five mentioned.

Porciuncula said the DOTC will decide based on the accessibility of the area, as well as social, environmental and technical aspects.

The new international airport is based on the DOTC’s master plan for a greater capital region airport to improve the aviation sector.

The plan to conduct an airport master plan came on the heels of the National Transportation Plan (NTP).

The NTP is aimed at facilitating the economic integration of regional growth centers in the country.

Based on a study commissioned by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) the country’s NTP will require an investment of about P748.67 billion for the next six years.

Of the total amount required, investments for road and road transport would reach P520.02 billion; port and maritime safety, P117.96 billion; air transport, P64.88 billion; and railway, P45.81 billion.

The study said expenditures for infrastructure in the Philippines averaged about 2.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) over the last decade.

This is well below the benchmark of at least 5 percent that Asian middle-income countries spend to meet their needs, and lower than the infrastructure investment per GDP of many other similar countries.

For the transport sector alone, spending in the country averaged a percent of GDP, broken down into airports, 0.1 percent of GDP; ports, 0.05 percent; railways, 0.1 percent; and roads, 0.75 percent.

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