Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to expedite the expansion of the Iloilo International Airport in the municipality of Cabatuan. The governor met with DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista on Sept. 29, 2023, to present the urgent need to expand the facility due to the increase in passenger traffic following the rapid development in the city and province of Iloilo.
“Our problem is very practical. We could no longer fit in our terminal. Even before the pandemic, it was already congested. And we are about to reach the pre-pandemic levels,” he said.
In a letter to Governor Defensor, National Economic and Development Authority VI Regional Director and Regional Development Council VI Vice Chairperson Engr. Arecio A. Casing Jr. said that as of September 2023, the Unsolicited proposal (USP) submitted by Prime Asset Ventures, Inc. (PAVI) is still under evaluation by the DOTr and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
The proposed expansion covers the upgrade of the passenger terminal building (PTB), construction of an apron adjacent to the PTB, installation of the required equipment for the passenger services, and modernization of the appurtenant facilities. The expansion will be implemented under a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme. RDC VI endorsed the proposed expansion under a PPP scheme through Resolution Nos. 39 and 40 on Sept. 26, 2014.
PAVI was also instructed to submit documents in compliance with the revised guidelines of the build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) Law, implementing rules and regulations, and the new Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) Guidelines and Checklists.
Defensor said he was told by Secretary Bautista that the NEDA Board is targeted to issue the approval in the first quarter of 2024. “We want to lobby to make it faster and avoid further delay,” Defensor said. The governor is also pushing for the resumption of the international flights at the Iloilo International Airport.