Bukidnon International Airport Pushed

29 January 2014

By Imee Charlee C. Delavin

Two Lawmakers are urging the establishment of an international airport in Central Mindanao to support economic development in the area.

In a statement released yesterday, Cagayan de Oro (second district) Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez said: that the construction of an airport for Central Mindanao and Bukidnon “will provide great opportunities for industries in which direct access to either air cargo or passenger flights is of importance”.

The proposal is contained in House Bill (HB) 3106, filed last Oct. 7 by siblings Mr. Rodriguez and Abante Mindanao (AbaMin) Partylist Rep. Maximo B. Rodriguez, Jr.

In HB 3106, Messrs. Rufus and Maximo Rodriguez proposed the establishment and construction of an international airport -- to be known as the Mindanao Central International Airport -- in the area bounded by Damulog, Bukidnon, in the north; Antipas, North Cotabato, in the east; Carmen, North Cotabato, in the south; and Alamada, North Cotabato, in the west.

HB 3106 was referred to the House Committee on Transportation on Oct. 14 for consideration.

The Cagayan de Oro representative said that building the airport “would make it easy for farmers and producers of different produce to transport their products to anywhere in the country and would also provide additional business, investment and employment opportunities.”

“Given its very strategic location, it would now be more accessible to nearby countries like Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, which allows it to establish trade relations,” he added.

He also said that Bukidnon -- a landlocked province in Northern Mindanao -- is considered the food basket of Mindanao and is a major producer of rice and corn in the region.

However, he noted that there are no airports in the province.

“For many of these provinces, the nearest airport is the Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro City, which is considerably far from the center of Mindanao,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

He added the island group’s major airports in Davao, General Santos and Cotabato Cities are coastal airports and quite far from Mindanao’s center.

“Thus, it becomes difficult for tourists and would-be tourists to go to the various tourist sites and attractions that the region has to offer”.

Central Mindanao, also known as Soccsksargen, is composed of the provinces of North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani.

The National Statistical Coordination Board lists Cotabato City as a component city, though it is physically located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

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