MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/25 January) — President Benigno Simeon Aquino has tasked the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to conduct a feasibility study for a an airport “more central in Mindanao so that distances to and from various areas will make more economic sense.”
Valencia Mayor Leandro Jose Catarata said Aquino mentioned this proposed airport in the heartland of Mindanao during the presentation of “Mindanao 2020” to the President on November 30 last year, as he announced his city’s offer of a site for the airport.
Earlier, the towns of Don Carlos and Maramag proposed sites for the airport which is being eyed to be constructed in Bukidnon, Mindanao’s heartland.
Catarata said senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Teofisto Guingona III, both from Bukidnon, had requested the President to locate it in the province.
Aquino had ended his speech by saying that most Mindanao airports are located near the coast.
“That doesn’t make tremendous sense to me, and I will be directing the director general of NEDA to study the feasibility and the placement of an airport more central in Mindanao so that distances to and from various areas will make more economic sense.”
Aquino, however, noted that “undoubtedly” there will be a lot of tension as to where to actually locate this central airport.
Catarata said they are serious in their proposal and are looking at recommending a site in barangays Sugod or Bagonta-as.
A domestic airport would give an edge to local farmers in transporting their products, he said.
The nearest airport to Valencia City is in Cagayan de Oro City, some 130 kilometers away while Valencia to the Davao City airport is about 190 kilometeres away. (Walter I.Balane/MindaNews)