Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (Neg. Occ., 6th District) yesterday said she is willing to help in the improvement of an airstrip in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, that is expected to boost the tourism industry in southern Negros.
Alvarez, however, said that since the airstrip is privately-owned, the Maricalum Mining Co. may either donate it to the city government, or allow the local government unit to use it.
If it is private property, we cannot put public funds into it, she said.
Mayor Oscar Montilla had earlier said that they are negotiating with the MMC management for the use the airstrip in Brgy. San Jose, Sipalay City.
At the same time, he said, they will also seek a certification from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines for its use, to accommodate light aircraft, in their effort to provide easier access to local and foreign tourists who may want to spend their vacation in Sipalay.
Montilla also revealed plans of an airline company, Sea Air, to operate in Sipalay, which is known for its diving sites, clean and powdery brown sand beaches, and hidden lagoons.
Alvarez said majority of the tourist destinations in southern Negros are located in Sipalay City.
Aside from an airstrip in Sipalay City, the construction of another airport is also ongoing in Kabankalan City.*GPB