Trust Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III to take credit yet again for a project progressed initially under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Despite undertaking a massive campaign to cancel key infrastructure projects initiated by Arroyo when he assumed office in 2010, the Aquino Administration has glided on the wind of many such projects. The latest one is the newly-opened Laguindingan airport in Mindanao currently being trumpeted by the government.The airport opened June 15, 2013 and is the main airport of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City in Northern Mindanao (Region X). Construction of the airport will be completed by June 2014, after the ILS equipment has been installed.
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In her Philippine Star column dated the 29th November 2007 Domini Torrevillas wrote about former President Arroyo’s involvement in pushing the project along…
The former congressman [Misamis Oriental Gov. Oscar Moreno] recalled having invited President Arroyo to the 76th anniversary of the founding of his province in January 26 last year, and it was then that he realized how serious she was about getting the project rolling. The night before she had discussed the project with Department heads at the Pryce Hotel, and two weeks later she organized a Task Force that would look into all details — the master plan for the project, expropriation of properties, the access road, and compensation for small farmers to be displaced by the project. Said the governor: “The President was concerned that the farmers be properly compensated. She said no progress takes place unless we help the farmers.”
The airport feasibility study and master plan were made in 1991 by Louis Berger International with assistance from USAID, its purpose to meet the increasing and future aviation traffic demand on the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor.
Yet in what looks like a plaque purported to have been installed at the new airport, it was only President BS Aquino’s name spelt out in bold and in red that appeared for the kudos. You’d think the most eligible bachelor in the country would at least be a gentleman and acknowledge the efforts of his predecessors which include not only Arroyo but the leadership of administrations going back to 1991.
This Airport was built
by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines
and completed under the Administration of
President BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
Department of Transportation and Communications
in cooperation with
the Government of the Republic of Korea
with funding support from the
Economic Development Cooperation Fund
Laguindingan International Airport (Filipino: Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Laguindingan, Cebuano: Tugpahanang Pangkalibutanon sa Laguindingan) (IATA: CGY, ICAO: RP02) is the first international airport that serves mainly the areas of Misamis Oriental and its nearby provinces in Northern Mindanao region in the Philippines. The airport replaces Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro. It is a flagship project of the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor Special Development Project, which covers both cities of Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro, as well as five coastal towns in Lanao del Norte, and in the twenty-three local government units of Misamis Oriental’s first and second congressional districts.
The airport sits on a 4.17 square kilometre site in Barangay Moog, Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental, and is located 46 kilometers from the city center of Cagayan de Oro.
Interestingly enough, President BS Aquino holds a spotty record for being on top of Mindanao’s many development issues. He is perceived to be a distant leader by many Mindanao residents as a result of the way he botched the whole Bangsamoro “Framework Agreement” with Mindanao’s Muslim community, sided with the Malaysian Government against Mindanao’s embattled Tausugs during the Sulu Sultanate imbroglio, and oversaw a less-than admirable service delivered by the national government in response to the devastation wrought by typhoons on Mindanao in recent years that have cost tens of thousands of lives.
Indeed, the fact that the Philippines is still a nation that presumes to be composed of a northern island historically ruled by a bunch of quaint Ilocano- and Tagalog-speaking tribes and a southern island chain composed of largely Cebuano-speaking remnants of ancient sultanates, is a testament to the strength and endurance of the colonial legacy of European civilisation in the Far East.
[NB: Parts of this article were lifted off Wikipedia.org and used in accordance with that site’s Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License consistent with the same license applied by Get Real Post to its content. Photo courtesy Jules M. Ragas and Dae Martin as shared by Showbiz Government.]
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.