The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is allocating a P2.16-billion budget for air transport infrastructure in 2019 to boost the Philippines’ bid to become a major global aviation market player by 2022.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno in a statement said the government will invest heavily in its aviation infrastructure program now that emerging economies like the Philippines are expected to surpass advanced economies in terms of passenger traffic by 2022.
According to the Airports Council International in its World Traffic Report 2017-2040, passenger traffic in emerging economies like the Philippines is estimated to increase from 3.5 billion in 2016, or 45.3% of the total passenger traffic, to 5.4 billion, or 50.1% in 2022. By 2040, this is expected to reach 13.5 billion, or 61.6% of the total global passenger traffic.
“Our various air transport projects under the Build, Build, Build Program came at no better time as the Philippines alone is seen as the 10th fastest growing country for passengers for the period 2016-2040,” the budget chief said.
Diokno said some of these key projects include the New Bohol (Panglao) International Airport Development Project with a project cost of P754 million and a targeted completion date of October 2018; construction of the nautical highway leading to the Sayak (Siargao) Airport terminal in Surigao del Norte for P500 million; extension of the runway of the Catbalogan Airport in Samar for P450 million; and the Davao International Airport project with a cost of P315 million.
Diokno also noted that seven of the 35 projects approved by the National Economic and Development Authority under the 75 infrastructure flagship projects in the Build, Build, Build program are strategic airport projects aimed at spurring airport traffic growth in the countryside. These airport projects include the Clark International Airport Expansion Project in Central Luzon, to be completed by the first quarter of 2020; Bacolod-Silay International Airport Project in Western Visayas; and Laguindingan International Airport Project in Northern Mindanao.