November 28, 2018
On November 27, 2018, the Philippines inaugurated the new Bohol Panglao International Airport, a major aviation transport project that is seen to boost the country's investments and tourism.
The airport, completed under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Official Development Assistance (ODA), is the first eco-airport in the Philippines that uses Japanese technology to save energy and promote sustainable tourism. Dubbed as the Philippines' "green gateway to the world", the airport features solar panels in its passenger terminal, higher roofs for natural daylight and ventilation to seep in, and geotextiles in its drainage system for sustainable waste management.
Said airport is part of JICA's support to the Philippines transport infrastructure priorities and is symbolic of the long-standing partnership between JICA and Bohol since the 1970s.
President Rodrigo Duterte, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco, Bohol Governor Edgardo Chatto, Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda, and JICA Chief Representative Yoshio Wada attended the inauguration ceremony.
"The airport aligns with the vision of Bohol to become a prime eco-cultural tourism destination. While today is a remarkable milestone for the Province of Bohol and for JICA-Philippines bilateral relations, it's also imperative that we keep working together to ensure the airport's impact reaches the people," said JICA Philippines Chief Representative Yoshio Wada. "We also commit to supporting the Philippines' other transport infrastructure to help add more value to the Philippine economy in terms of jobs and investments."
With its location in Panglao, a major tourism hub in Central Visayas, Bohol is seen to become a key economic center in the region. The new airport is expected to accommodate 3.4 million passengers and will also launch flights to international destinations. Together with Cebu, Bohol is one of the Philippines major tourist destinations in Central Visayas. The region accounts for 5.8% of total foreign investments in the Philippines and about 6.9 million tourists visited the region in 2017, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.
Aside from the new airport, JICA also supported sustainable tourism in the island through a Sustainable Environment Protection Project. Over the years, JICA has assisted the Philippines in building aviation infrastructure including the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, Mactan Airport, New Bacolod Airport, New Iloilo Airport, Air Navigation Facilities Modernization Projects, and New Communications, Navigation, Surveillance / Air Traffic Management (CNS / ATM) Systems Project.
The newly inaugurated Bohol Panglao International Airport
President Rodrigo Duterte unveiling the marker
Inside the new Bohol Panglao International Airport