Gov. Edgar Chatto will like the manpower need met as sufficiently as possible for Bohol Panglao airport’s initial operation this year that already requires around 190 aviation and customs officers and personnel.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) alone is assigning 400 officers and personnel when the airport’s commercial operation goes full swing at 24-hours daily.

For the initial daytime operation of the airport, the CAAP plans
to assign 150 men while the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will detail 40 people.

There are only two BOC men at the existing Tagbilaran City airport, which is eyed to be transformed into a business park or special economic zone once the new airport is operational.

Chatto discussed the personnel requirement preparation, among others, in his meeting with some officials of the BOC and CAAP at the Governor’s Mansion on Wednesday.

The BOC-CAAP group was led by BOC-Cebu Deputy Collector for Administration Wivina Pumatong, who inspected the office, administration and operation areas for the bureau at the airport on Panglao island.

In a DZRH Television interview, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Arthur Tugade named the Bohol Panglao airport among the three “world-class” airports in the country for opening in 2018.

The two others are the new airport in Cagayan and the costly modern terminal expansion of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

Pumatong told Chatto the BOC is assigning 40 officers and personnel while CAPP will detail 150 men during the initial airport operation starting in August this year.

The airport will first have daytime flights until night flights are to be allowed with the completion of all the safety night aviation facilities and equipment in January next year.

The CAAP projected a massive manpower of 400 officers and personnel during the full 24-hour operation of the over P7-billion modern airport of international standard.

The country’s civil aviation authority will initially operate the airport until the finalization and effectivity of the public-private partnership of the operation, management and maintenance of the facility.

After her meeting with the governor, Pumatong also saw for herself the completed runway, with markings already.

The BOC official was likewise excited by the sight of the airport terminal structure and its passenger bridges or gangways.

Pumatong was accompanied to the airport site by Engr. Rosalinda Yu, head of the secretariat of the Local Project Management Team (LPMT) of the New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project (NBACSEPP).

The NBACSEPP is the official name of the Panglao Bohol airport project package, which next phase—with fund allocation approved already—includes a 500-meter extension stretching the runway to full three kilometers.

The extension work cannot affect the landing and take-off of the aircrafts while the airport commercially operates beginning in August, a much-anticipated schedule that has so far remained unchanged.


The governor will meet here on February 17 with the regional directors of the agencies which also have stakes in what to come with the multi-faceted impact of the full airport operation.

These agencies are the Department of Tourism (DOT), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

The meeting will be joined by the members of the Panglao Island – Tagbilaran Executive Committee (PITEC), Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) and other industry keyplayers.


But while the Boholanos are kept posted to the projected economic development upsurge on account of the dream airport finally materialized after three decades, Chatto would not want the other major concerns missed.

He said the airport operation, which in no doubt triggers tourism boom and accelerates domino effects to economic and social welfare conditions, encourages equal keener focus on health and food provisions, among many others.

Chatto is hopeful of fund releases starting this year to cause the construction in 2019 of the major extension of the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH), Bohol’s biggest hospital run by the government.

Hospital chief Dr. Mutya Kismet Tirol-Macuno on Thursday briefed the governor in a health sector meeting with representatives from the Department of Health (DOH) Central Office on the updated site development plan for the existing GCGMH in Tagbilaran City and proposed GCGMH in Cortes.

The GCGMH-Tagbilaran will be known for acute care hospital and trauma center, academic medical center with international accreditation, research and innovative institute, transplant institute, international patient services (also involving medical tourism and travel medicine), and quality and patient safety medicine.

The GCGMH-Cortes will be developed with chronic care center, cancer center, institute of nuclear medicine, institute of tropical medicine, and behavioral sciences (mental health) center.

Chatto said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board already approved the P2.2 billion budget for the GCGMH modernization.

Macuno cited Rep. Rene Relampagos’ House Bill 3061 upgrading the hospital, including the doubling of its capacity from present 225 beds to 500 beds.

After its passage in the Lower House, Chatto, a former congressman, vowed to help in lobbying with his Senate friends for the measure’s fast approval in the Upper House.

Like the enhancement of quality health care, the governor likewise anticipated the encompassing development owing to the new airport to demand a higher food sufficiency.

The Bohol Panglao airport is projected to bring in over a million tourists annually—even nearing or surpassing Bohol’s own population of 1.3 million as of 2015—and the number can get greater in more years to come.

During the Provincial Development Council (PDC) Executive Committee meeting led by Chatto on Tuesday, Department of Agriculture (DA) Reg’l. Exec. Dir. Leo Cañeda cited Bohol’s milestone rice production increase by 48.28% in 2017.

Validated by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Bohol’s yield boom mainly contributed to Central Visayas’ rice production increase by 44.6%, the highest by region in the entire country.