Surigao City, Surigao del Norte — The repair of the Surigao City Airport runway remains on track, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
During the second site inspection on the rehabilitation progress led by Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and CAAP Surigao Manager Junelito Abrazado on Friday, the contractors have affirmed the November 2019 completion target for the initial 400-meter repair, and the full 700-meters by February 2020.
“So ngayon, right on track ang pangako sa ating lahat na Surigaonon ni CAAP general manager, ang ating pong CAAP director-general, at ang ating DOTr assistant secretary [Giovanni] “Banoy” Lopez,” Andanar said.
The runway’s partial operation of 1,400 meters, from 1,000 meters currently, will accommodate seven weekly Philippine Airlines flights between Manila and Surigao.
Andanar, who assembled an ad-hoc communications team to coordinate with the DOTr and CAAP about the progress of the rehabilitation on a weekly basis, said that one hurdle for the project was already cleared out.
Andanar relayed the message of the DOTr that the variation order (VO) for the initial 400-meter runway reblocking was already signed by the new contractor Pacific Concrete last August 28. The VO will allow Pacific Concrete to take over the scope of the obligations of the previous contractor, Herbana Builders.
The widening of the Surigao Airport runway began in October 2015 but did not proceed as planned as Herbana Builders declared bankruptcy and left the project hanging.
Then in February 2017, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit Surigao City that damaged the runway, only being able to use 1,000 meters from the original 1,700 meters.
“To complement the required budget of the VO by around P10 million, some conventional asphalting works of the original contract were reduced through value engineering,” Lopez said in his message to Andanar.
Moreover, Pacific Concrete said that the establishment of the concrete and batching plant for the rehabilitation project is expected by the second week of September, which will speed up the runway reblocking and asphalting for the initial 400 meters expected to be completed by November and the full 700 meters by February next year.
Meanwhile, the second contractor VT Lao is already 10.26 percent completed with the asphalt overlay for the slope correction of other parts of the runway.
The contractors began work on the runway’s rehabilitation last August 7.
In June this year, the provincial government of Surigao del Norte and the Surigao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. adopted separate resolutions asking their fellow Surigaonon to elevate the issue to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade.
“As a Surigaonon, I go here because it is the interest of our province to have a workable airport na maka-landing ang eroplano hindi lang to Cebu, but also sa Manila. So we’re doing out best from our end, in my office, we constantly communicate with the [CAAP] general manager and the DOTr,” Andanar said.
“We just need to constantly check the repairs. Coordinate closely with my office and ad hoc team I created for the Surigao City Airport news update, and let us continue to communicate,” he added. (PCOO/PIA-Surigao del Norte)