5.16.2010

PIA News Service - Sunday, May 16, 2010

PGMA inspects Sayak Airport, inaugurates road project in Siargao
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Sayak, Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inaugurated Friday, May 14 the newly constructed Dapa-Del Carmen Road, one of the major infrastructure projects of the government intended to help boost the economic and tourism development in the island, dubbed as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines. 
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Prior to her arrival, the President first inspected the on-going expansion of the P92Million Siargao Airport known as Sayak Airport by Siargaonons. She was briefed by the Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary (DOTC) Anneli Lontoc. 
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Lontoc said that the apron expansion, taxiway and perimeter fence were already completed. “Ang Siargao Airport po ay nakikita nyo, on-going na, ang taxiway at ang bakod ay tapos na rin. Ang ginagawa po ngayon ay ang runway extension,” said Lontoc.
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President Arroyo was then delighted to hear that Siargao Airport can now accommodate bigger aircraft that will service Siargao to Manila upon completion of the runway extension from 1.2 kms to 1.4kms.
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Lontoc added that the Airport Terminal building and Flight Service Station are now currently being constructed.
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Right after the briefing, the President boarded a vehicle for the inaugural drive through at the junction of Cancohoy-Del Carmen road, which forms part of the P152-Million road concreting project.
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The 7.307 kilometer Dapa-Del Carmen Road Concreting Project covers four (4) sections. The Dapa-Cancohoy Section which costs P20-M, started on Apr. 13, 2009 and was completed on Dec. 8, 2009. The Sayak Airport Section, which costs P92-M started on Apr. 27 2009 and was completed on Mar. 7, 2010. The Junction Cancohoy-Del Carmen and Dapa-Del Carmen Sections which costs P40-M, started on July 20, 2009 and were completed on April 10, 2010. All these projects were funded under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regular Infra Funds. 
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Meantime, Cong. Matugas , in his welcome message, thanked President Arroyo for the many projects she has given to the island.
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“Our dream of having a good road was finally realized. Thank you, Madam President,” said Cong. Matugas.
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He also said that with the completion of this road network, it will definitely enhance the social condition of the people which plays a major role in the economic growth of the island and the province of Surigao del Norte. 
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The President on the other hand, said that with these developments, revenue for tourism will definitely give boost to the economy of Siargao.
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The Chief Executive then made a surprise visit to the Matugas-owned college - the Siargao Island Institute of Technology (SIIT) and inspected the on-going construction of Dapa gymnasium at the municipality of Dapa. 
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Accompanying the Chief Executive were Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Esperanza Cabral, DPWH USec. Bashir Rasuman, and 2nd district Rep. Guillermo Romarate, Jr. (Fryan E. Abkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)
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PGMA checks on her projects on education, environment & economy
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Siargao, Surigao del Norte - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said she is going around the country to check on her projects on education, environment and the economy to ensure that when she turns them over to the next administration she will have completed most of them by then.
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She came to this scenic island known as “surfing capital of the Philippines” to inspect on the ongoing airport improvement program--- that includes the widening and extension of the runways and renovation of passenger terminal and administration building and then drove through the newly-concreted 7.307 kilometer Dapa-Del Carmen Road worth P152 million and then made a side trip to the Siargao Island Institute of Technology where she delivered a typewritten speech before teachers and students and then took her convoy to the nearby Dapa municipal gymnasium for a quick check. It replaced the old gym which was gutted down by a fire three to four years ago. She inserted in the last two events only hours before landing here.
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After driving through the Dapa-Del Carmen Road, the President was briefed on the project by Department of Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Bashir Rasuman who said that this segment of the road is part of the 126.703 kilometer Siargao Island National Road.
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Congressman Francisco Lalo Matugas thanked the President for her all-out support to the province in terms of infrastructure, health care services and even her continuing presence and assistance on several occasions. “She is always there when we need her that is why I am proud to say that she is an adopted daughter of Siargao and Surigao del Norte,” said Congressman Matugas.
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The President also thanked all the local officials for their cooperation and undying support to her leadership as she congratulated them for the party’s overwhelming victory in the entire province of Surigao del Norte .
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While at the road briefing, the President “interacted” with some beneficiaries by asking them just how the project will improve their lives. She talked to construction worker Hermie Nick Pobe, who found gainful employment in the project and Genaro Sebille, a vegetable trader who said the road project will improve his profits through reduced post harvest losses from the products he is taking to the market.
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She made sure to repay the efforts of around 1,000 residents who lined the streets waiting for her chopper by shaking their hands and greeting them in the Visayan dialect. Many of the residents took out their cellphone cameras and took her pictures as memorabilia when she steps down come June 30.
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Surigao Gov. Sol Matugas, an educator herself, praised the President for the “historic” visit.
While at the Siargao Island Institute of Technology, the President again stressed that she will use the remainder of her term seeing to it that her 3Es program—education, environment and economy—are all in place and will be there for the benefit of the people. (Rose dela Cruz/PIA-Surigao del Norte)
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PGMA inspects siargao airport expansion
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Siargao, Surigao del Norte - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Friday (May 14) inspected and showed delight at the ongoing expansion of the Siargao airport expansion program which entails widening and extending the runways and improving the administrative and passenger terminals to ensure that these modern facilities will add to the attractiveness of the province to both local and foreign tourists.
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Upon arriving at the airport, the President was met by Del Carmen Mayor Constantino Navarro IV, Sayak Barangay Chairman Samuel Sulima, Siargao Airport OIC Gina Villamor, Transportation and Communication Siargao Airport Project Engr. Nestor Bravo and PNP Surigao del Norte Commander Gilbert Cruz.
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The President was delighted to hear and announced that come November bigger bodied planes from Manila will now be able to land in Siargao, thereby improving the province’s accessibility and attractiveness to local and foreign tourists. She expressed the hope that eventually these will be daily flights and not just two planes a week (or every Monday and Friday) by just the Cebu Pacific plying the route from Cebu province yet.
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Villamor said the runway extension is part of the promises made by the President in her state of the nation address and is being undertaken jointly by the Department of Transportation and Communication and its private sector partner, EquiParco of Robin Javier.
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President Arroyo, after the project briefing at the airport, said she hopes the incoming administration will not abandon or discard whatever work has been undertaken in the airport and in other infrastructure projects as well so that residents and other people can greatly benefit from their completion.
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She said she is proud that Siargao is now famous not just for its being a surfing capital of the Philippines but for its game fishing and mangrove or everglade river cruises, which are now both gaining popularity fast here and around the world.
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The President, after being briefed on the airport expansion project, said if continued by the next administration, the upgraded airport will boost flight arrivals from the current 72-seater flights of the Cebu Pacific, which comes only once every Monday and Friday to at least daily flights from both Manila and Cebu.
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Villamor said she is proud that tourism in Siargao is no longer seasonal or only during summer but throughout the year. Tourists are both foreign and locals who brave the strong waves during the rainy season to pursue their love for open sea sports.
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The terminal expansion is 60 percent complete which costs P24 million which entailed the renovation of the administration building and the passenger terminal facilities.
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To be able to make Siargao airport really be world class as envisioned, she said it would hopefully be attained by 2015, assuming that the incoming administration would be supportive of continuing and pursuing the Arroyo administration’s programs to modernize the country’s ports and airports, she said.
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Siargao Airport was built in 1964 by President Arroyo’s father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal but was renovated and upgraded only in 2008 to accommodate more flights, other than the small bodied planes.
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As outgoing Del Carmen Mayor Constantino Navarro IV said “we can not afford to discard and stop this program because we have already succeeded in making our tourism a year-round affair.” (Rode dela Cruz/PIA-Surigao del Norte)
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LAKAS bets win by landslide in surigao del norte
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Siargao, Surigao del Norte - Who says being identified with the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is a kiss of death? 
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Surigao del Norte, which has 20 island municipalities and one city, showed its full support to the Lakas-Kampi CMD in the just concluded automated election, an indication that Arroyo’s support is indeed not a kiss of death.
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For Congressman, those elected were Rep. Francisco Lalo Matugas (1st District, Lakas) and Rep. Guillermo Romarate (2nd District, Lakas). For Governor, first termer Sol Matugas, a former regional director of the Department of Education won by a wide margin.
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For Vice Gov. Arturo Carlos Egay Jr., a former board member, won by a wide margin under the Lakas ticket.
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Surigao City Mayor, Engr. Ernesto Matugas, a first timer in politics who had been a real estate developer, won under the Lakas ticket and City Vice Mayor, Atty. Danilo Menor, also a first timer in the position and formerly a city councilor, won also under the Lakas.
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In all 20 island municipalities, Lakas candidates dominated the polls except for the municipality of Sison where the votes had not been counted due to problems with the precinct count optical scan machine of the Commission on Election and the votes had been shipped to Comelec in Manila.
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In the visit of President Arroyo in Siargao, Friday (May 14), she congratulated both congressmen and the city and municipal mayors who have won in the province through sheer hard work and dedicated public service.
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She even added another event in her schedule here by visiting and delivering a speech at the Siargao Island Institute of Technology (SIIT), where she was introduced by former educator, Sol Matugas, now governor of the province of Surigao del Norte .
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Gov. Matugas thanked the President for taking time out of her busy schedule to inspect the airport, inaugurate the Dapa-Del Carmen Road and making a side trip to the SIIT and the Siargao Municipal gymnasium before flying back to Manila.
(Rose dela Cruz/PIA-Surigao del Norte)