Cotabato Regional Airport Gets P260M Additional Funding


Sectoral representatives had pledged support to the initiative to get the Central Mindanao Airport opened soon during a dialogue Monday, presided over by Cotabato Rep. Samantha Santos. (John Felix Unson)

COTABATO CITY – Efforts for the Central Mindanao Airport in Cotabato province, dormant since its inception more than a decade ago, to fully operate got a boost with an additional P260 million allocation from two legislators.

Merchants in the province and in the Bangsamoro region told reporters onn Tuesday they were happy to know hat Cotabato Rep. Samantha Santos and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines Party-list Rep. Raymond Mendoza had raised the amount, drawn from their congressional allocations, for the completion of infrastructures needed in the operation of the CMA.

“That airport, once operational, shall become a `magnet’ that can surely attract local and foreign capitalists,” Ronald Hallid Torres, chairman of the Bangsamoro Business Council, said on Monday.

Santos had announced, during a dialogue on Monday with local officials and stakeholders, that the fund from her office and the TUCP Party-list is earmarked for a fire station, a control tower and other structures needed in the premises of the CMA in Barangay Tawan-Tawan in Mlang.

Mlang and its neighboring towns, Matalam, Kabacan, Tulunan, all in Cotabato, and Datu Paglas in Maguindanao del Sur, have mixed Muslim-Christian business groups.

The CMA is also closer to about half of the 63 Bangsamoro barangays in different towns in Cotabato that are ideal for large scale agricultural production. The area is suitable for the propagation of Cavendish bananas, oil palm trees, hybrid corn, and soya.

The manager of the Mlang Water District, Engineer Robert Cadiena, and Joel De Guzman, who is overseeing the operation of the Cotabato Electric Cooperative, had assured during their dialogue with Santos that they shall provide technical support for the setting up of the airport.

The runway of the CMA was designed to accommodate large passenger planes, much longer and wider than that of the Cotabato City Airport.

The CMA is not too distant from Kidapawan City, the capital of Cotabato and seat of the provincial government.

Mabel Lynnel Calungsod, chairperson of the Cotabato Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise Development Council, said they are certain of a boom in the business climate in all of the towns around the CMA once opened.

“We have long been wishing for the full operation of that airport in Mlang,” Calungsod said. (John Felix Unson)

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