By JUNE S. BLANCO
EVALUATION of the plan, detailed engineering design (DED) and the program of works is now done and bidding for the upgrading of the Ubay Airport is set early next year.
Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) said Capt. Jim Sydiongco, director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and his deputies told him of this update in a recent meeting at the latter’s office.
Sydiongco said he has caused the posting of the bid details in the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) for the bidding to push through early next year.
At P66 million, the final design increases the existing runway will be widened and the length increased from 400 meters to 1.5 kilometers, with terminal building equipped with the standard 5,000-gallon capacity elevated water tank. The “modest” terminal building costs P10 million.
Aumentado expressed gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio “Jun” or “Tuloy” Evasco Jr. and Transportation Undersecretary Arturo Evangelista for their support of the project.
Aumentado expressed elation over CAAP’s upgrading of the Ubay Airport, this being the request of his namesake father and immediate congressional predecessor Rep. Erico Boyles Aumentado. The funds materialized following his consistent follow-ups, including the filing of House Bill 5889 seeking to improve the Ubay Airport and requesting funds for the purpose.
He said the House Transportation Committee chaired by Rep. Cesar Sarmiento (Catanduanes, Lone District) helped him arrange to outsource the same from the CAAP general fund.
The explanatory note said the improvement of the airport will be in preparation for the feeder of the Panglao Airport and the Mactan International Airport, flying school hub in the Central Visayas in the near future and even commercial flights.
To note, the Cebu flying schools have signified their intention of transferring to Ubay as soon as the extension and expansion are done and ready to use.
The solon waxed sentimental when he said the project would be another dream-come-true for his father.
The elder Aumentado had been a “dreamer” who was able to implement mega projects, among them, the Bohol Circumferential Road Improvement Project (BCRIP) Phases 1 & 2, the Leyte-Bohol Interconnection Project (LBIP) Stages 1 & 2 and the Bohol Irrigation Project Phases 1 & 2 (BHIP).
He envisioned more infrastructure for his province, including a flying school and even a commercial airport for smaller planes on the other end of Bohol, opposite to Tagbilaran City, on the fist-shaped island – and a bridge to link Bohol and Cebu.
After realizing his earlier dreams, the younger Aumentado is now carrying on the effort to see his father’s later dreams come true.
To note, the elder Aumentado passed on last Christmas Day of 2012.