The provincial government is eyeing the construction of additional airports in Palawan to further develop the economies of municipalities through tourism and trade.
Governor Jose Alvarez, speaking in El Nido recently, said they have studied the viability of Barangay Abongan in the municipality of Taytay as an airport hub “15 years from now”.
“Nagawa ko na yong study ng Abongan kasi I’m looking at the future — 15 years from now. Kung ang turista mo papuntang norte sa atin na may connectivity na tayo to Linapacan and Coron, landing lang sa Puerto Princesa, hindi na babalik dito yan dahil sa haba ng panahon ng paglalakbay,” he said.
Alvarez said he and Department of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Arthur Tugade have discussed the airport study to hopefully make it a reality, especially now that there is already connectivity to Linapacan and Coron.
However, he said the plan is not yet in the framework of total airport development in the country.
“Hinahanda ko lang yan for the future. At least, meron ng roadmap dahil kung ang Taytay and San Vicente, Roxas and El Nido ay magkakaroon ng more than two million tourists ay hindi sapat yong airport sa Puerto at saka itong maliit na airport na ito (sa El Nido). We have to look beyond the future,” he said.
Alvarez also said that in Balabac, two airports are being constructed in Catagupan and Bugsuk Island.
The airport on Bugsuk Island, which is nearing completion, is an initiative by San Miguel Properties in an 11,000-hectare property that is expected to be completed in April or May.
“Malapit na pong matapos ngayong April or May, puwede nang mag-landing ang airbus. Private initiative ito and then doon sa Balabac mainland, gumagawa na ngayon ang Philippine Air Force ng isang runway na airbus capable — siguro in the next five years — kasi dahan-dahan lang ang funding doon,” he added.
Alvarez said Balabac needs two airports in order to match the Maldives.