Jomar rebuffs critics on airport transfer issue PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 11:15

Adelante Zamboanga Party (AZAP) President Jomar Lobregat yesterday rebuffed criticisms over his idea on holding in abeyance the transfer of Zamboanga International Airport (ZIA) from its present site in Baliwasan Moret to the city’s east coast.

Lobregat dared his critics to show facts and figures, as to why is there a need to transfer the airport, while its presence in Baliwasan Moret does not in anyway, causing problems to the people.

Lobregat said, apart from the needed billions of pesos funding in effecting such transfer, those going to and from the airport daily would have to endure higher expenses, especially, in terms of transportation fares and similar other expenditures.

The younger brother of Mayor Celso Lobregat, who is vying for a congressional seat in the city’s 2nd district, said, “it is not always true that the proposed airport transfer would spur economic developments in Zamboanga City.”

He cited the case of General Santos City, where the airport was transferred to a new location, yet, ‘there is nothing developed in the area except the airport”.

However, Lobregat cited few cases of justified transfer and these are in Cagayan de Oro City, where flights would usually be cancelled due to constant fogging in its airport’s old site, and Bacolod, where its airport’s runway became too short for landings and take-offs, thus, said transfers were inevitable.

Lobregat believes that instead of progress,  “people would have to spend P300 to P400 in tricycle fares in going to and from the new proposed airport, in Mercedes-Talabaan area, doubly or triply-higher than P40 to P50 that they are spending now”.

The businessman-turned politician said, in normal cases, transferring of airports only occurs when there is congestion, and runways are becoming shorter for planes to take-off and land.

“In the case of our airport, there is no problem in taking-off and landing of airplanes,” Lobregat said.
Lobregat also cited the difficulty and possible security breach, in moving out from its present site, all facilities of Edwin Andrews Airbase (EAAB), which would clearly necessitate, if ZIA is transferred.

Lobregat is calling on all critics to make an in-depth study first before giving comments on airport issue, especially if billions of pesos needed for said transfer, “could be used to address other pressing problems confronting the poorest of the poor Zamboanguenos, other than the not-so-needed airport transfer”. — AZ