By Terry D.C. Betonio

THE construction of the 4.392 kilometer four-lane access road that would connect the proposed Laguindingan International Airport to the national highway has been substantially completed.

As of January 8, the Project Management Office (PMO) of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) reported 98.82 percent actual accomplishment of the access road though originally, its target date of completion was on September 30, 2009.

Construction of the access road, which started on July 12, 2007 by Vicente T. Lao Construction, was done in two phases amounting to P229.133 million and spans across 24.196 hectares.

In its report, the PMO said although the total affected area is 100 percent acquired, titling of the land is still on-going.

Though construction of the access road is behind from its original target date of completion, the PMO said construction of civil works and buildings within the airport by Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co. Ltd. is ahead of schedule by 1.61 percent, which is targeted to be complete by January 17, 2012.

The scope of works within the airport includes a runway, taxiways, main apron, passenger terminal building, operation and control tower building, power house building, cargo terminal building, maintenance building, cold water receiving station, administration building, waste water treatment plant and other airport support facilities.

The Laguindingan International Airport envisions the development of a new major trunkline airport in Northern Mindanao that is of international standards. It is implemented by DOTC with funding from EDCF Republic of Korea (US$30.6 million), Kexim Bank Export Credit (US$62.75 million), Government of the Philippines (US$60.36 million) and US$13.38 million for air navigation facilities.

The main airport covers 393.494 hectares but as of January 8, only 296.109 hectares has so far been acquired while Ayala Corporation will donate 94.392 hectares with the deed of donation still for signing and titling of acquired areas still ongoing.

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