ORMOC CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte led the inauguration of the Ormoc City Airport Development Project, as well as the Chen Yi Agventures Rice Processing Center in Alangalang, Leyte.
Together with Department of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Arthur Tugade and Director General Capt. Jim Sydiongco, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), he only led the unveiling of Ormoc City Airport Marker and left shortly thereafter.
Sec. Tugade shared he refused to inaugurate the airport in May without the presence of the congresswoman.
“Sa totoo lang siya (the congresswoman) po ang nangulit sa akin upang ang airport na ito ay bigyang katuparan at bigyang-buhay,” he said.
He recalled that the airport runway’s length used to be 1.7-km only, but is now 2-km long.
“Kung noon makikita niyo ‘yung runway, sira, tuklap at kapag naglanding ang eroplano… baka magkaroon ng aksidente. Ngayon ho ‘yung runway pantay, patas at pwedeng maglanding in confidence and security,” he noted.
He added that the terminal can now cater up to 130 passengers and 150 parked cars, and already has its own power generator.
Sec. Tugade also vowed to make it a night-rated airport, which can handle evening flights before the end of the President’s term.
“This year, we will start the runway widening from 35 to 46 meters,” he added.
Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez, meanwhile, expressed gratitude for the newly built airport. “Napakasipag po ng ating secretary sa DOTr, talagang binantayan at tinrabaho na matapos ang airport on-time,” he said.
Leyte 4th District Representative Lucy Marie Torres-Gomez also expressed gratitude to Sec. Tugade for bringing another milestone in Ormoc. She added that in her 9 years in congress, the airport terminal only looked like a waiting shed.
“With every yes, may katapat talaga na totoong nangyayari. It may not be the biggest airport terminal in the entire Philippines, but it is ours and it is beautiful; it is clean and it is new,” she shared.
The Php 34-million rehabilitation project started after Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) flattened the city in 2013, and was completed in four months after the 6.5 magnitude earthquake in 2017 through the DOTr and DPWH.
Under the said project, the passenger terminal building’s total area has been expanded from 150 in 2011 to 1,350 square meters.
On the other hand, the Php 82-million asphalt overlay of the runway and strip grade correction project has likewise been completed, while the Php 55-million runway widening project is set to be finished by 2020.
The 37-hectare airport, Principal Class 2 by the CAAP, catered to at least 1,200 passengers and accommodated 80,244 aircraft operations in 2018.
Meanwhile, the President, together with Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, also led the inauguration of Chen Yi Agventures Rice Processing Center situated in Alangalang, Leyte.
Chen Yi, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA), specializes in developing technologically advanced post-harvest facilities and loan assistance program to local farmers. It also aims to provide Filipinos with locally produced top-quality rice through “rice revolution” or mechanized farming.
It is a major rice producer that integrates high-tech planting and harvesting equipment to all farmer-members of the program from seed growing, planting, farm management, harvesting and rice production in the Visayas and Mindanao.