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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, February 24, 2007
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San Carlos airport
needs P100M

The Regional Development Council of Western Visayas yesterday endorsed the request of the San Carlos City government for P100 million from the national government to help fund the on-going construction of the city's community airport project.

The resolution was passed during the first quarter regular meeting of the RDC at the Grand Regal Hotel in Bacolod City presided over by Antique Gov. Sally Zaldivar-Perez, RDC chairperson.

The project is located on a 40-hectare property donated by the Negros Fisheries Corporation to the city government, the site being adjacent to the San Carlos City Special Economic Zone, Mayor Eugenio Jose Lacson said.

The on-going community airport project has a 1,350 meters runway with a 75 meter airstrip and other related air navigational facilities and structures, he said.

After spending approximately P84 million out of the city's local funds and accomplishing about 35 percent of the project's physical requirements, the need for additional funds from other sources to help finance other major work items of the project is seen as necessary for the project's completion, he said.

The P100 million is being sought through the Department of Transportation and Communications for the construction of box culverts across Socorro Creek, Vasconia Creek and Tongo Creek and other facilities and structures, the RDC resolution said.

Gov. Joseph Maraņon thanked the RDC for earlier passing a resolution endorsing the conduct of a feasibility study for the proposed Trans-Visayas Friendship bridges that will connect Negros to Panay and Cebu.

A project study on the bridges is now being prepared by the Philippine Consultancy Inc., he said.

Perez also sought the passage of a resolution for OIC regional directors to be given permanent appointments.

The constant transferring of regional directors is detrimental to the continuity of projects in the region, Perez said.

The RDC yesterday also endorsed the project proposal of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for a "Community-Based Forest and Mangrove Management Program in Panay and Negros" for KfW funding in the amount of EUR 8.75 million.

The project focuses on a balanced program of investments in forest and mangrove rehabilitation and management, rural infrastructure, natural resource-based income earning activities and capacity building of the target beneficiaries, the resolution said.

It also endorsed the project proposal entitled "Strengthening the Implementation of Basic Education in the Visayas (strive) stage 2" to the Investment Coordination Committee.

The project proposal is part of the multi-year grant assistance from the Australia government to the Philippines to improve access and quality of basic education in the Visayas. In Region VI the Division of Negros Occidental was identified as the recipient.*CPG

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