The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), in cooperation with the provincial government of Palawan, led the inauguration of the San Vicente Airport (SVA) in Palawan today, 10 May 2018.
The inauguration of the SVA concludes the PhP62.7 million airport project that began construction in 2009, which was envisioned to provide more flights and routes for air passengers travelling in Palawan, and help boost the country’s first Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone.
Secretary Tugade was accompanied by DOTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo, Undersecretary for Finance and Administration Garry De Guzman, CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco, and Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez.
According to Secretary Tugade, more flights will be accommodated in the airport after the inauguration.
“Ngayon ay bumibiyahe na dito ang Air Juan. Sa lalong madaling panahon, magsisimula na ring bumiyahe dito ang Cebu Pacific at ang Philippine Airlines (PAL),” Secretary Tugade said.
The SVA’s passenger terminal building (PTB) can accommodate up to 150 passengers at any given time, bigger than the average capacity of community airports that can cater to 50 passengers.
With SVA ready to accommodate commercial flights, the number of tourists are expected to further increase as they begin to explore various tourist destinations in San Vicente.
Secretary Tugade reminded everyone that while tourism is expected to boom in San Vicente after the inauguration of the airport, locals should maintain the cleanliness of their surroundings as to protect Palawan’s beautiful locale.
“Regalo po ito ng Pangulo sa inyo. Alagaan ninyo ito. Siguraduhin ninyong hindi magiging basurahan ang mga baybayin nito, hindi magiging itim ang white sand, at hindi magkakaroon ng mababaho at maduduming mga kanal. Take care of your paradise. Do not let anyone destroy your paradise,” Secretary Tugade added.
Started in 2006, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced the construction of a new airport in San Vicente to jumpstart tourism development not only in San Vicente, but in other parts of North Palawan.
Over the years, funding was allocated for the construction of the airport, which was personally spearheaded by Governor Alvarez.
“There is nothing more basic at stake than the future of Palawan to play on a global stage of tourism. If the province can figure out how to invest in its future, all Palaweños will prosper through education, improved quality of life, and jobs. And, the generations to come will see and benefit all of these beautiful things we’ve done in our lifetime,” Governor Alvarez said.
Seen as the country’s first Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone, the town of San Vicente, a first-class municipality, is home to the Long Beach, known as the longest white sand beach in the Philippines that stretches to 14.7 kilometers spanning to the coastline of four barangays. DOTR