The Regional Development Council VIII – Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RDC VIII-RPMC) Monitoring Team and the Multi-Agency Core Group conducted its first joint meeting to discuss and address issues on the implementation of the Tacloban Airport Development Projects, in a blended meeting on 17 May 2023. It was immediately followed by a field monitoring visit to the project sites.

In her Opening Message, the RPMC Chair and NEDA VIII Regional Director, Meylene C. Rosales, emphasized the crucial role of the development of the domestic Tacloban Airport into an international airport, from improving connectivity to and from the region up to achieving a more progressive Eastern Visayas. She further expressed that hopefully this international airport will be realized within the term of this current administration, considering its potentially large impact to the region’s economy.

The Multi-Agency Core Group was organized to conduct a monthly joint meeting cum field monitoring visit with the RPMC, as agreed during the Second Quarter 2023 RDC VIII-RPMC Field Monitoring Visit to said projects on 13 April 2023. This is to ensure a more effective implementation and facilitate completion of said projects.

The Core Group is headed by the Department of Transportation and is composed of membersfrom concerned agencies and stakeholders, such as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Central Office, CAAP Area VIII, Tacloban City Government, Department of Public Works and Highways VIII, National Housing Authority VIII, Philippine Reclamation Authority, Leyte II Electric Cooperative, Inc., Leyte Metropolitan Water District, and the PrimeWater Infrastructure Corporation.

During the said meeting, members of the RPMC Monitoring Team (i.e., NEDA, DILG, PMS, selected RDC VIII-Private Sector Representatives) and the Core Group discussed the latest status of the construction of the New Passenger Terminal Building (Phase I) and its final architectural design, as well as the status of the site acquisition for the expansion of the Tacloban Airport. Likewise, solutions and future actions to resolve project implementation bottlenecks were discussed.

Representatives of the Office of the House Speaker Hon. Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez and Tingog Partylist also joined the activity, expressing full support and assured assistance to the projects.

The ongoing and planned developments for the Tacloban Airport are crucial to comply with the international standards and, eventually, to be able to accommodate international flights. This endeavor is seen to generate a significant boost to the economy of the region, especially its tourism and trade sectors.

Article by: Josefina Ballesteros and Karen Reduban (PMED)