Binay vows int'l airport in CDO, solution to Mindanao power woes
MISAMIS ORIENTAL, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay on Saturday, October 3, vowed to oversee the completion of the ongoing projects to expand the Laguindingan Airport and the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan economic corridor should he win the presidency in 2016.
“Dito po sa Cagayan de Oro, batid ko ang pagnanais ng inyong local na pamahalaan para makapagtayo ng isang international airport na alam ko na malaki ang maitutulong sa inyo,” Binay said in his speech during the regional launch of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) at the Misamis Oriental Electric Services Cooperative Training Center in the municipality of Laguindingan.
(Here in Cagayan de Oro, I know that the local government wants an international airport that would greatly help all of you.)
“Dahil ang Cagayan de Oro ay tinuturing na gateway ng Mindanao dito sa Northern part, kasama sa plano ko ang expansion ng inyong highway mula Cagayan de Oro hanggang Iligan City,” Binay added.
(Because Cagayan de Oro is considered as the gateway of Mindanao in the Northern part, my plan is to expand your highway from Cagayan de Oro to Iligan City.)
Upgrading the Laguindingan Airport would involve modernizing the airport’s facilities to be at par with international standards, including the construction of a new passenger terminal building and the expansion of its cargo terminal building and runway.
The said airport currently serves flights to and from Cagayan de Oro City, although it is located outside Misamis Oriental’s provincial center.
“Wish list ng buong probinsya ‘yan at [ng] Cagayon de Oro. You make Laguindingan Airport into an international airport, matutulungan po ang dami – from Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del sur, even CARAGA,” Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vicente “Bambi” Emano told Rappler.
(That’s the wish list of the whole province and Cagayan de Oro. You make Laguindingan Airport into an international airport and you would be able to help a lot of people – from Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, even CARAGA.)
Binay’s promise earned him an applause from the estimated 7,000 people who attended the event. (READ: Binay in Mindanao: I will make you rich, like Makati)
In his speech, the Vice President also promised to ensure to put an end to the electricity loss in the region, to provide more jobs through encouraging foreign investments, to improve the state of Mindanao’s agriculture, and to ensure a close coordination between the local and national government.
Misamis Oriental is a Binay bailiwick, where 813,918 voters are currently registered as of July 2015. In 2010, Binay won over Mar Roxas, the Liberal Party’s standard-bearer for 2016, in the province for the vice presidency race. Binay got 164,448 votes while Roxas had 120,442.
“Alam mo, sa Cagayan de Oro nung 2010, napakalaki ng lamang namin dito ni [dating] pangulong Erap [Estrada]. Nakatutuwa dahil ang gobernador dito ngayon ay anak ni Dongkoy, ni [former] mayor Emano,” Binay told reporters before his speech.
(You know in Cagayan de Oro in 2010, former president Erap Estrada and I won big here. I’m happy to know that the current governor here is the son of Dongkoy, of former mayor Emano.)
The PaDayan Pilipino party of local political kingpin and kingmaker Vicente “Dongkoy” Emano, the former mayor of Cagayan de Oro, is an ally of UNA and was instrumental in Binay’s win in the region 5 years ago.
The elder Emano, however, did not attend the UNA event on Saturday. His son Bambi and Misamis Oriental Vice Governor Joey Pelaez of UNA instead appeared with the Vice President on stage.
Binay also came to Mindanao with UNA secretary general JV Bautista and UNA spokesperson Mon Ilagan. In attendance too where Princess Jacel Kiram, Philippine Councilors League president Alma Moreno, and lawyer Harry Roque, who are testing the waters for a possible senatorial bid.
Promises to Mindanao
During his speech, Binay said he will seek to solve Mindanao’s power shortage. (READ: How to solve Mindanao's power woes)
“Mahalagang ayusin natin ang problemang ito sapagkat ito ang nagiging hadlang sa tuluyang paglago ng ekonomiya. Matinding perwisyo ang dinudulot nito sa ordinaryong mamayan,” he said.
(It’s important that we solve this problem because it is a hindrance to the improvement of the economy. It causes great inconvenience to citizens.)
The Vice President also recognized Mindanao’s contributions to the country’s agricultural sector, saying 25% of the Philippines’ rice supply and 70% of the corn, coconut, and banana supplies come from the region. (READ: The opportunity that is Mindanao)
“Ngunit nakalulungkot isipin na ang pangako [sa] Mindanao na kilala sa likas-yaman ay nananatiling pangako at hindi pa lubusang naisakatuparan. Bakit 10 sa 16 na pinakamahirap na probinsya sa Pilipinas ay nasa Mindanao?”
(But it’s sad to think that the promises to Mindanao known for its natural resources remain as promises until now. How come 10 of the 16 poorest provinces in the Philippines are in Mindanao?)
Binay then repeated his promise to strengthen different sectors – agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, business process outsourcing, and export – in order to increase jobs in the country and to lessen the number of overseas Filipino workers.
“Pundasyon ng serbisyong panlipunan ang masiglang ekonomiya. Kung kaya sisiguruhin natin na ang mga negosyo ay lalago at ang mga dayuhang investors ay mahihikayat na magtayo ng industriya at mga kompanya sa Pilipinas na gagamit ng de-kalidad na kasanayan ng manggagagawang Pilipino,” said the Vice President.
(The foundation of social services is a healthy economy. This is why we are going to ensure that business will thrive and foreign investors will be encouraged to establish industries and business here in the Philippines that would make use of the Filipino workers’ quality skills.)
According to him, promoting foreign investment would also encourage more people to invest in providing alternative sources of electricity in the country.
“At kapag nangyari ito ay bababa po ang singil sa kuryente at magkakaroon ng sapat na suplay sa buong Mindanao (And when this happens, it would lower the electricity cost and there will be enough supply for the whole Mindanao).”
MisOr for Binay
Governor Emano said he is “humbled” that the Vice President chose Misamis Oriental as the province to launch UNA in Mindanao.
“We will not call it a bailiwick, but God knows and the Vice President knows that we will try very, very hard to work and campaign for him because we believe in his programs,” said Emano.
“I believe in his ambition. I believe in his dreams. I even believe in the programs na ngayon ay sinisira ng kalaban niya (that his enemies are currently destroying),” the governor added, referring to the allegedly anomalous city projects in Makati, where Binay was mayor for 21 years.
Vice Governor Pelaez shared the sentiments, saying that “the corruption allegations remains to be proven.”
“The chances I think are good in Mindanao because the Vice President has gone probably to almost all towns and cities in Mindanao, have eaten in most of the public markets. He holds boodle fights. He has gone to most of the municipalities in Mindanao,” Pelaez said.
Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is popular in Mindanao and is expected to win the votes in the region, is yet to finalize his plans for 2016. – Rappler.com
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