'So far so good,' DOTC exec says of Iloilo airport works
Iloilo -- Ongoing construction works of the multi-billion New Iloilo Airport Development Project (NIADP) continues to register a negative slippage yet overall, optimism runs high on said project now closely watched by the national government.
In fact, with 22 to 23% of said negative slippage on record and some 36% in actual accomplishment, "catch-up" works appears to work in favor of the target date of completion. As such, Assistant Secretary Ricardo "Cano" Tan of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) said, "everything is running smoothly."
"So far, so good," Tan began in an interview with The News Today (TNT). "We are really optimistic especially since the issues raised by the affected people have been resolved. The social problems have so far been addressed so we do not see any reason why we will face any major setback again. Wala na sang sablag magluwas sang tiempo (No more reason for delay except the weather)."
And what about the allegations of corruption, anomalies and irregularities surrounding the project?
"Out na kami sa mga isyu nga ina ah. Gin-imbestigar naman (We are out of that issue. It was already investigated) so let us wait for the results," his quick reply went while adding that to date, the order of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stays for the DOTC to conduct audit on the airport expenses and review of airport contracts.
Valued at P6.2 billion, the new Iloilo airport stands to be among the major and most controversial government infrastructure work in Western Visayas under the DOTC watch. An investigation was conducted by the House Committee on Good Government amidst complaint of massive corruption and illegalities surrounding the project.
Malacañang stepped in on the current phase of construction as it moved to abolish the powerful airport committee comprised of Governor Niel Tupas and Senator Franklin Drilon among others. Remaining works are now solely under the DOTC with Secretary Leandro Mendoza then telling reporters it will come up with results in a month's time relative to the President's order for audit and review of the airport project.
Tan declined to give further comment saying he has no personal knowledge of any updates on said DOTC action.
The new airport has a standing "construction duration period" that is to end October 18, 2006. Actual operation is expected middle of next year.