Hopes are high that the Central Mindanao Airport (CMA) may start operating before yearend after 15 landowners finalized Thursday the sale of their properties to the government through the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the provincial government of North Cotabato.
Governor Nancy Catamco and DOTr Assistant Secretary Jim Melo and Registry of Deeds Provincial Head Atty. Ma. Theresa Pescadera witnessed the ceremonial signing and distribution of checks at the provincial capitol grounds in Barangay Amas, Kidapawan City.
“When you make impossible things happen it’s more fulfilling,” Catamco said, lauding the landowners for their patience and cooperation.
The governor also thanked the officers and staff members of different line agencies for their unwavering support to make the CMA project push through with ease.
Melo said that DOTr wants the CMA to be operational as soon as possible, and is willing to support the provincial government of Cotabato in all its endeavors.
Teresita Buenaflor, one of the landowners, said the signing of the deed of absolute sale has given hope not only to the people of M’lang, where the mothballed airport is located, but also to all Cotabateños who wish to see the project finally take off.
On Feb. 14, Catamco met with the landowners and conducted an ocular inspection at the airport wherein DOTr representative Engr. Manny Lazam assured that the DOTr is ready to download additional funding for the project when the documents are completed.
The DOTr and the provincial government of North Cotabato are expected to proceed with the perimeter fencing immediately and open the airport before the end of the year.
The mothballed airport will need at least PHP2.6 billion to rehabilitate and put into operation, said Mindanao Development Authority chairman Emmanuel Piñol early on, citing an assessment from the DOTr. (PNA)