Bohol dev’t must get fast: NEDA chief


Bohol’s most desired development must accelerate as in the case of the construction of the Panglao airport which is potent to globalizing the province’s economy, according to the socio-economic planning secretary.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ernesto Pernia on Thursday visited along with Gov. Edgar Chatto the airport site and told the project consultants and contractor to speed up the construction.

Pernia’s “instruction” was pursuant to what he calls the “value of impatience” now applied bythe administration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

Being impatient should mean intolerance to unnecessary delays that hamper progress, the Boholano NEDA head implied in his speech at Rizal Day rites at Plaza Rizal in Tagbilaran City on Friday.

The partnership of the province under Chatto and University of the Philippines (UP) Advisory Council, then chaired by Pernia himself, was considered crucial to influencing the past administration to finally implement the airport project.

Pernia has headed the NEDA since Duterte’s presidency six months ago, within which period essential variations to the original design of the Panglao airport were approved.

The variations were endorsed to the NEDA and Malacañang by the Provincial Development Council (PDC) and Regional Development Council (RDC) under Chatto as chairman.

While progress has to be “delivered fast,” both Pernia and Chatto at the same time agreed on Bohol to develop in a “well-planned” way.

As the airport completion should happen in the first quarter of 2018, Pernia disclosed the possibility of the implementation of the third Tagbilaran-Panglao island bridge starting next year.

Chatto and Pernia also visited the proposed site for the bridge, which full-blown project feasibility study and advanced engineering design are currently done according to Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio II.

Pernia reiterated during the Rizal Day commemoration the value of impatience while invoking the love of country and courage of the national hero himself to achieve the Filipino aspirations.

These characters, Pernia stressed, call for things “to get done” and they are in the set of values now applied by the national leadership.

He said the war on drugs alone is already expressing the president’s love of country.

Hastening major socio-economic and development programs further indicates nation-building and the country is to see so many infrastructure activities this new year of 2017, according to the NEDA chief.

Year 2017 will see, too, major significant progress in the energy development program of the province involving two major strategies—Cebu-Bohol power interconnection and establishment of Bohol island-based power plant.


Pernia expected a lot of “competition in technical expertise” and he further explained why the construction of the Panglao airport has to get “so fast” at even “24/7” working time if possible.

Globalization is making the economy borderless and the new Bohol airport is a determinant to the province’s competitiveness in the free flows of labor, capital, investments and talents.

Right on the project site with the governor, the NEDA head was briefed by the officials of the airport contractor, the Chiyoda-Mitsubishi Joint Venture (CMJV), and manager of the Japan Airport Consultants (JAC) of the progress of the construction.

The CMJV reported the parallel construction of the runway and passenger terminal building as well as the control tower.
Pernia considered the modern Bohol airport to be of national significance as it will be an economic dynamo of a growing province in a major economic region.


The socio-economic planning secretary and the governor likewise visited the Cortes site for the modern Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH).

The existing hospital located in the city is to be upgraded at over P500 million after the project’s groundbreaking on January 4 while the entirely new GCGMG has yet to rise in Cortes.

The fund for the upgrading of the hospital on its existing location in the city was secured after the 2013 epic earthquake.

The whole GCGMH modernization program is costing P2.2 billion, granting Bohol the privilege to own what Pernia calls a “world-class hospital.”


The GCGMH modernization, variation design of the Panglao airport, and Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) are the three projects so far approved by the present NEDA Board that directly benefit Bohol.

This was again confirmed by Pernia who himself co-chairs the president in the NEDA Board.

In his same Rizal Day message, Pernia cited the dream to connect Bohol to Cebu by a super bridge across an about 27.5-kilometer distance above seawater.

The physical interconnectivity vision could take quite a long time to materialize as the project is yet to undergo feasibility study even if there appear to be interested partners, according to the NEDA head.

The Cebu-Bohol bridge as well as the proposed Ubay-Pres. Garcia bridge and Bohol-Leyte bridge via Pres. Garcia to Maasin have been integrated in the Bohol spatial development framework for 2017-2028.

The framework was adopted and approved by the Provincial Development Council (PDC), which chairman is the governor, the other week with Pernia’s director for Region 7, Efren Carreon, gracing the full-council meeting.


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