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MISSING CONTEXT: Bicol International Airport project is under Build, Build, Build


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MISSING CONTEXT: Bicol International Airport project is under Build, Build, Build
The pre-feasibility study for the Bicol International Airport project began in 1996. The initial construction of the airport started in 2008 but experienced delays later on.
At a glance
  • Claim: The Bicol International Airport is a project by the Duterte administration under the Build, Build, Build program. 
  • The facts: The Bicol International Airport project had its pre-feasibility study in 1996. The initial construction of the airport started in 2008 but experienced delays later on.
  • Why we fact-checked this: The post containing the claim was sent to the Facebook group “Fact-checking in the Philippines” for verification. The post was also shared by several Facebook pages and accounts online.
Complete details

A post on June 10 by the Facebook page “Duterte Social Media Supporter” implied that the Bicol International Airport (BIA) was under the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program of President Rodrigo Duterte. As of writing, the image has gained 826 reactions, 92 comments, and 193 shares.

The caption of the post reads, “AQUINO vs DUTERTE #buildbuildbuildproject #dutere2022 (sic) #TatakDuterte (Duterte trademark).”

According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the pre-feasibility study of the BIA happened in 1996.

The unedited version of the photo was originally posted on the DOTr’s Facebook page on April 23, 2021. It was captioned, “Tatlong beses itong nagkaroon ng groundbreaking ceremony sa loob ng 13 taon bago ang June 2016, ngunit walang anumang konstruksyon ang nasimulan. Nang masimulan ang Build Build Build Program ng administrasyong Duterte noong 2016, sa kabutihang palad ay umusad na rin ang natenggang Bicol International Airport Project.”

(This had three groundbreaking ceremonies within 13 years before June 2016. However, no construction was ever started. When the Build, Build, Build, program of the Duterte administration started in 2016, fortunately, the Bicol International Airport project was pushed through.) 

A Philippine News Agency (PNA) report published on January 20, 2021, states that the BIA initially started the construction in 2008, during the term of then-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. However, the development works needed for BIA were unfinished until 2012.

According a report by The Manila Times published on February 21, 2014, then-president Benigno Aquino III gave the then-Department of Transportation and Communication the go signal to expedite the construction of the BIA.

According to an article by PNA as republished by BusinessMirror on May 13, 2015, former Albay governor and current Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda said the airport was 47% finished, with Phase 1 and 2 construction of the airstrip completed. Salceda added that Phase 3, which included the construction of the runway, taxiway, apron, and perimeter fence, was 59.08% accomplished then.

The BIA project was then handed over to the next administration as Phase 3 was not yet completed.

The Build, Build, Build program continued the BIA construction. The DOTr said that, as of January 13, the landslide facilities or Package 2A was 88.2% complete. Meanwhile, the construction of the passenger terminal building, taxiway, runway extension, and other development works, or Package 2B, was 49.5% finished. 

Moreover, DOTr Secretary Arturo Tugade uploaded a Facebook post on May 15, saying that the project was 82.22% complete as of May 10.

Rappler recently fact-checked a similar claim about the Bohol-Panglao Airport. (READ: MISSING CONTEXT: Bohol-Panglao Airport made possible with Build, Build, Build) – Nicole Anne Perez/Rappler.com

Nicole Anne Perez is a Rappler intern. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s internship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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