CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The opening of the upgraded PHP132.2-million airport in Camiguin province could signal better post-pandemic economic impact, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said during a live-streamed event Friday in the island province.
During the inauguration of the new airport, Tugade said even when it was still undergoing construction, hiring laborers in the process already started the "economic impact" for the province.
"Before it (the airport) can only accommodate 60 passengers, with the new one, it's now 220, there will be an impact in tourism with that," he said.
Tugade and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General, Captain Jim Sydiongco, led the inauguration of the completed development projects for the Camiguin Airport.
The completed projects include the expansion of the passenger terminal building amounting to PHP29.2 million; construction of the administration building (PHP4.6-M); one bay fire station building (PHP3.2-M); construction of CAAP Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) Office PHP2.04-M); as well as the asphalt overlay of the runway (PHP93.04-M).
Camiguin Governor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo, meanwhile, said the airport plans to hire only locals.
"This would be a great help especially for their families, this alone could create a triple impact in our economy," he said.
He also assured travelers that they will be protected against the coronavirus disease 2019 once the island province reopens for tourism on Oct. 25.
"We have 1,200 per day vaccination for our tourism workers, so they can accommodate the visitors better," he said.
In the afternoon of the same day, Tugade, along with officials of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Camiguin, led the launching of the Service Contracting Program (SCP) Phase 2.
A contract signing between the LTFRB and the Camiguin Transport Cooperative was made during the event.
Through the program, a total of 35 public utility jeepneys (PUJs) will be utilized to provide free rides for the healthcare workers, essential workers, and Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs) in Camiguin.
The PUJs will be plying the Mambajao to Mambajao circumferential loop service in the island province.
The SCP aims to provide PUJ drivers with financial incentives on a per kilometer basis, which would greatly help them sustain their daily needs, especially amid the prevailing pandemic. (PNA)