The proposed reopening of Sandoval Airport (Cesar Lim Rodriguez Airport) in Taytay town is seen to open opportunities to locals and boost the economy of Palawan.
Board Member Roseller Pineda cited the benefits in terms of tourism that the nearby town of El Nido is getting from the Lio Airport in El Nido.
According to Pineda, the Taytay airport is almost ready for use but has been stalled for more than a decade.
He also said that this would help boost the town’s economy and tourism business by giving airlines more flight routes.
“‘Yan ang kaisipan na gusto nating mangyari dyan sa airport sapagkat noong nag-o-operate yan ay napapakinabangan pero natigil. Alam naman natin na walang sira at good condition yan pero hindi napapakinabangan,” Pineda said, adding that he also wants to find out why the airport remains closed.
“Alam din naman natin na sa El Nido ay pribadong airport ang meron. Pwede namang mapakinabangan itong sa Taytay so bakit hindi gawin? Sayang dahil mayroon tayong airport na hindi nagagamit at malaking support sana ito sa economy at sa turismo kaya nakakapanghinayang,” he explained.
Pineda sought to enter into a public-private partnership (PPP) with a company that would invest in the development and improvement of the airport in a resolution he authored that was approved during the Sangguniang Panlalawigan regular session on Tuesday, which he said would still benefit the Taytay local government.
He said it would be better compared to the proposal of Taytay LGU to operate the airport.
“Hindi natin binabalewala kung ang mag-operate ay ang LGU pero kung ang titingnan natin ay yung kapasidad para ma-improve at makatulong sa ekonomiya, at sa turismo ng Taytay, El Nido at Linapacan, ay maghanap tayo ng mas may kakayanan na mag-improve ng airport,” Pineda stated.
The provincial board also passed a resolution asking the Department of Tourism to back the plan to reopen the airport.
Moreover, he said that they are looking into the possibility of securing a memorandum of agreement between the local government of Taytay and the provincial government.
“Sa ngayon ay pinag-aaralan ngayon ang pagkakaroon ng kasunduan o MOA para matukoy ang responsibilidad ng bawat isa – ng lokal na pamahalaan ng Taytay at ng provincial government, at yung capacity to build, to develop and improve the airport, at sa tingin ko nga ay mas makabubuti kung ito ay gagawin sa pamamagitan ng PPP,” he concluded.