Tacloban airport gets ₧118.5-M equipment from Jica
THE Japanese government has turned over P118.5 million worth of equipment for the rehabilitation of the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City. Rescue vehicles, fire trucks, baggage x-ray inspection systems and walkthrough metal detectors are among the quipment given by the Japanese government.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) said these will improve the airport’s safety capabilities and resiliency in case of natural disasters.
“Jica continues to support the Philippines’s rebuilding efforts post- Supertyphoon Yolanda [international code name Haiyan]. We’ve recognized the important role of airports in the entire transport chain. Aside from being a main gateway to a region or country, an airport is also a base for emergency rescue and relief operations,” Senior Representative Tetsuya Yamada said.
“With this, we hope that the new airport equipment will help move forward the build-back better strategies of the Philippines for Yolanda recovery,” Yamada added.
The equipment assistance is a component of the Japanese aid agency’s P2.3-billion grant in aid program for projects designed for the country’s rehabilitation and recovery from Yolanda.
The grant also includes rebuilding schools, medical facilities and government offices. Under this assistance, Jica will also provided equipment to National Maritime Polytechnic, as well as to meteorological radar stations and electric cooperatives.
“Japan’s experience with the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, which damaged our Sendai Airport, showed us that clearing and restoration works in calamity-affected airports must be done as soon as possible,” Yamada added. “Without early resumption of airport operations, transporting critical goods and services will be delayed.”
Jica said the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) sought its assistance to improve the resiliency of the Tacloban airport. Aside from the Tacloban airport, Jica is also working with DOTC and Caap in a project for new Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance-Air Traffic Management (CNS-ATM) systems development.
The project will help install new satellite-based systems in selected sites nationwide to enhance air traffic safety, reduce flight delays, and improve air space efficiency.
The CNS-ATM project has been identified by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) in its 2014 Official Development Assistance (ODA) Portfolio Review as one of the “problematic” ODA projects.
However, there has already been some improvement as the Neda has said the project posted a decrease in backlog of $205.62 to $30.71 million in Calendar Year 2013 from $236.33 million in CY 2012.