MANILA, Philippines— The Tacloban Airport Development Project of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) remains on track despite the realignment of a portion of its funds to the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
The project involves the construction of a new passenger terminal building (PTB) in order to meet the airport’s requirements by 2016.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya clarified a recent report which gave the impression that the project would be placed in jeopardy by the realignment of P 718.752-million from the project’s budgetary allocation, stating that this will not compromise the airport’s rehabilitation plan.
“The DOTC approved the realignment upon determining that it would not endanger the Tacloban Airport Development Project, and the President likewise approved the move after careful consideration of the Tacloban Airport’s needs vis-a-vis the implementation of DAP to fast-track government spending. The DBM made the realignment once all the proper approvals were secured,” said Abaya.
Abaya explained that since the project is being implemented in phases, the DOTC did not require the realigned amount for this year. He also assured the public that this will not delay the project.
In fact, he disclosed that the project’s ongoing airside civil works – which entails the concreting of the apron and taxiway, as well as the completion of the shore protection – are expected to be completed ahead of schedule, or by February 2014. The landside civil works will be based on a detailed engineering design which will be bid out by the agency next year according to schedule.
“Clearly, this was not an arbitrary move by the DBM, the DOTC, or the Aquino administration. Instead, it was part of the DAP’s larger purpose of accelerating government spending to boost the economy,” Abaya added. (PNA)