BAGUIO CITY – Senatorial candidate and Leyte 1st district Rep. Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez vowed to work for the immediate rehabilitation of the city’s Loakan airport and the putting up of more mountain roads and bridges that would interconnect the six provinces and two cities in the Cordillera geared towards improving the transport of goods and services from the farms to the markets and for effective and efficient disaster and emergency response in the future.
Romualdez underscored the importance of a fully operational airport in the heart of the region so that it would serve as the center of transportation once the region will be isolated during the onslaught of natural calamities that would lead to the closure of the region’s main arteries.
At the same time, Romualdez said there is a need to further develop and
improve roads that would make the transportation access leading to the
provinces of CAR easy.
The Leyte lawmaker revealed that during the onslaught of Super typhoon Yolanda in Eastern and Western Visayas in 2013, the only available means of transportation left was the Tacloban City airport and similarly, the only available access of transportation after the onslaught of the July 16, 19990 killer earthquake was the Loakan airport because all roads leading to the city were either cut or subjected to huge landslides that took several months to be opened.
The Leyte opposition leader, also vowed to activate the air travel in Baguio City by pushing for the commercial use of Loakan airport which is operational only to small aircrafts like chartered light planes and helicopters.
He said airport plays a crucial role in the delivery of the needed basic services during emergencies.
Romualdez lamented that most of the areas in CAR are isolated during emergency situations, adding that the airport here should continue to operate and must be improved.
“Building bridges, making mountain roads and rehabilitating Loakan airport will help develop CAR as this would help the easy transport of goods and products and further promote tourism,” Romualdez, explained.
“Our concern also is to strengthen the emergency response of the government through the help of better and improved roads. My proposals will surely boost developments in CAR,” Romualdez, whose key platform is focus on improving jobs, health, education, agriculture and
disaster preparedness, stressed.
“The facelift of Loakan airport will also help address the dangers to
planes flying during inclement weather and late afternoons,” Romualdez, a shared senatorial candidate of Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago who are both running for president and who has been endorsed by the 40-man Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc. (PCF), added.
The CAR’s image to become northern Luzon’s fruit, flower, coffee and vegetable basket will get a needed boost from the construction of new roads and bridges to augment the Halsema Highway and the Bontoc-Lugbuagan- Tabuk- Road which drastically cut the time to deliver
the products from Benguet province to Metro Manila where it supplies close to 75 percent of Metro Manila’s vegetables.
Romualdez explained that the easy access to Abra province is only in Ilocos Sur, adding that improved roads will also help address the peace and order concerns.
“If we can provide good roads, peace and order will also be addressed,” said Romualdez.
The CAR comprises the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province, and one chartered city, Baguio City.
By Dexter A. See