To attract more tourists and investments in the islands of northern Cebu, Governor Hilario P. Davide III will pursue the construction of two airports in Bantayan and Camotes Islands under his term.
Davide, speaking before the First Bantayan Island Business summit held in Sta. Fe, said that he will strive to secure the support of all offices so that these airports can be completed in three years.
“Among paningkamotan (We will endeavor) with Vice Governor Agnes Magpale and the entire Provincial Board that the airport can be started and completed within three years,” he said.
Davide intends to expand the airstrip in Pacijan, Camotes Island and turned it into an airport. The island has an existing airstrip favorable for a landing site suited for aircrafts like Cessna, Learjet or a 30-seater airjet.
The landing field, he added, would be built under a public-private partnership deal. Davide revealed that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and Mactan Cebu International Airports Authority (MCIAA) already manifested support for the projects.
Lack of potable water
Meanwhile, the Governor assured stakeholders that the Capitol would help address the island’s problems such as the lack of potable water and insufficient power supply and vowed to improve the health care services.
After seeing the dreaded effects of El Niño, he appealed to the mayors of the three towns to prioritize programs that would increase the supply of drinking water. Davide said he considered constructing a desalination plant in the island to redress the scarcity of clean water.
Recently, a Filipino-owned company using an Israeli technology visited the Capitol and made a proposal for the plant. Davide said he is interested in the proposal and will make further study on it.
Desalination is a process that removes minerals from salty water.
To boost the power supply, the governor cited an Australian company who is willing to set up a solar farm in the island.
“I know that you have varied interests. But I would rather want that we concentrate on important issues. We want you to be united so the provincial government would know the kind of assistance we could extend to you,” he said.
Bantayan Island is made up of three towns, including Bantayan and Madridejos. Each town has distinct strength in their economies with Sta. Fe relying on tourism, Madridejos on fishing and Bantayan on poultry and agriculture.
“I do believe that there are a lot of opportunities for us here in Bantayan Island. We just have to be able to come together, collaborate and discover these opportunities and act on them,” said CCCI president Melanie Ng.
“We need your commitment so that results will happen and bring business to the next level not only in Bantayan but also in the entire province,” she added.
The business summit organized by the Cebu Provincial Government and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) was attended by at least 100 individuals from line agencies, business sector representatives and local government units. Bantayan Mayor Arthur Despi and Sta. Fe Mayor Jose Esgana were also present in the event. (Kelvin Cañizares)