CAAP bids out Bukidnon Airport’s Phase 4

MALAYBALAY CITY (12 March 2023) The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has updated the schedule of the bid submission and opening of the P1-billion Phase IV of the construction of the Bukidnon Airport, based on bid documents as of March 7, 2023. 

This 900-day phase of the Bukidnon Airport Development Project is expected to start on May 25, 2023 and completed by November 10, 2025.  

CAAP set the new deadline for submission and opening of bids for the P970.3 million phase on March 30, 2023, according to the bid bulletin issued by Captain Edgardo G. Diaz, Chair, CAAP Bids and Awards Committee.

Located in Barangay Maraymaray in Don Carlos town in the southern part of the province,  the airport is one of the flagship projects of the national government in Northern Mindanao.

The Bukidnon Airport (construction still ongoing) is located in Maraymaray, Don Carlos in Bukidnon. Map courtesy of Google

The airport nearest Malaybalay City is Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental which is 127 kilometers away with travel time of nearly three hours. Malaybalay to Maraymaray in Don Carlos is 62.9 kilometers and travel takes a little over an hour.

Phase 4 covers the site preparation of the land side area; construction of access road and vehicular parking area; industrial lighting and exterior power distribution, nine-story control tower building; two-story administration building; communal toilet; waiting area; A and B ticketing booths – A (four units) and B (two units); 10,000-gallons steel water tank A and B; pump house A,B, and C; powerhouse; transform yard (two units); CSIS office building; cargo terminal building; rescue and firefighting facility; STP control room; guardhouse A & B; covered pathway, 13 Units; lifting station with 26 service manholes; water impounding system; and staff house building.

CAAP has reported about 8.26% actual accomplishment in the airport’s Phase 3 or the construction of passenger terminal building, runway strip, runway extension, among others as of a status report as of February 28, 2023.

CAAP awarded the P958.4 million project phase to Tokwing Construction Corp./Mamsar Construction and Industrial Corporation.  The 540-day project started on September 10, 2022 and is  due for completion on April 3, 2024, after a revision.

Contractor Jasa Builders completed the construction of the project’s P74.5 million Phase 2 on October 9, 2022, which CAAP inspectors checked on November 16, 2022. 

CAAP has reported 48.25% actual accomplishment in the airport construction’s Phase 1, which was awarded to Eddmari Construction and Trading. As of February 28, 2023, this project phase is due for completion on April 20, 2023.

The CAAP project status report, however, showed a number of adjustments in project completion.

Based on the project profile, the Phase 1 project duration was increased from 330 to 440 calendar days due to an approved variation order. The completion was first extended from June 28, 2022 to October 15, 2022. The same duration was adjusted by another approved variation order to April 8, 2023 due to “unworkable/rainy days.” Another extension was given up to April 20, 2023 due again to unfavorable conditions and delayed payments of 1st progress billing.

Although declared complete and inspected as of November 2022, the CAAP status report also cited that the project’s Phase 2, on embankment works, was also extended due to “unworkable/rainy days.”

Based on the CAAP report, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has downloaded to CAAP a total of P2.816 billion from 2019 to 2022 to the four phases of the project, which is expected to be completed in 2026.

For Phase 1, the DOTr downloaded P200 million of its annual budget to CAAP with a memorandum of agreement approved on April 25, 2019. From the 2019 GAA (General Appropriations Act), DOTr downloaded an additional P430 million.

In Phase 2, the DOTr downloaded P136.8 million of its GAA to CAAP with a MOA signed on January 10, 2019.  

In Phase 3, the DOTr downloaded a total of P1.05 billion to CAAP with a MOA approved on June 10, 2021.

For Phase 4, the DOTr downloaded a total of P1 billion to CAAP with a MOA approved also on June 10, 2021.

In November 2021, then Senate Majority Leader Zubiri reported the construction of the P2 billion (USD39.8 million) Bukidnon Airport project due to be fully completed by 2026.

According to the Center for Aviation website, once operational, the Bukidnon Airport is expected to accommodate aircraft including the ATR-72 and Bombardier Q400.

Zubiri has been pushing for the airport project for over a decade. 

In 2012, Zubiri earmarked  a portion of his Priority Development Assistance Fund to start construction of the airport. He said he looked for additional sources from Official Development Assistance and other international aid agencies to fund the bigger portion of the project.

He added that an airport in the province was important as the Laguindingan International Airport in Misamis Oriental was set to operate in 2012 and land travel from Bukidnon to Laguindingan would take much longer than when the airport was still in Cagayan de Oro City. 

In 2011, then President Benigno Simeon Aquino tasked the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to conduct a feasibility study for an airport “more central in Mindanao” so that distances to and from various areas will make more economic sense. Aquino had said that most Mindanao airports are located near the coast.

Initially, CAAP inspected three sites for the proposed airport, which were all considered  “technically feasible” — the current site, another area in Cabangahan here in Malaybalay, and in Dabongdabong, Valencia City. (MindaNews)