By: Elena S. Pelare
The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) has allocated P195-M this year for the additional improvement of Ozamiz City Airport after the Regional Development Council made the strong endorsement of the funding request from the provincial government of Misamis Occidental and the city Government of Ozamiz thru the then infrastructure committee chair and now Vice-Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez.
The P195-M funds is sourced out from the DOTC savings to address the ongoing problem of Ozamiz City Airport like the low voltage power supply, the perimeter fence, the passenger terminal building, the control tower, runway lights and the runway expansion.
Ozamiz City Airport though it has been fully operational but it lacks the basic airport facility such as the baggage conveyor because of the low voltage electricity and a proper passenger terminal building. Since the airport surrounded with rice field a lot of animals are crossing the runway despite of the tightened security due to the improper perimeter fence.
Vice Mayor Echavez in February this year chanced a short discussion with Transportation Secretary Emelio Joseph Abaya regarding Ozamiz City airport during the first inspection of President Benigno Aquino 111 at the Laguindingan Airport Development Project.
As a chairperson of RDC’s infrastructure Committee then Mayor and now Vice-Mayor Echavez was part of the team receiving president Aquino that occasion.
Ozamiz Airport was reopened to commercial flights on July 8, 2007 after it is closed to commercial flights for over Fourteen years . Presently it is due for reclassification to principal airport from a community airport category as it has started capturing an increasing number of passengers and a rising volume of cargos from the nearby provinces.
The revival of Ozamiz City airport was realized thru the joint efforts of Ozamiz City Mayor and Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, Sr., during his second term, together with then 2nd district Representative and now Misamis Occidental provincial Governor Hermie Ramiro.
Ramiro and Parojinog were working hard together to bring Ozamiz City Airport back to business in this competing era.
DOTC staff had coordinated and requested Vice -Mayor Nova to lead the exploration of identifying possible area at the airport vicinity for a new passenger terminal to be constructed by the government.
The said work would start by the end of this quarter according to DOTC.
The present government passenger terminal building is erected in a lot owned by the Philippines Airlines. The Cebu Pacific air , the second airline company flying Manila-Ozamiz-Ozamiz Manila route has constructed their own separate building for baggage check in counter.
Ozamiz City Airport caters Four flights daily. Two airplanes bound for Manila; Airphil Express and the Cebu Pacific Airbus , while two other aircrafts one from Cebu Pacific and one from Airphil Express are also serving Ozamiz-Cebu-Cebu-Ozamiz passengers.
For the past seven years, Ozamiz Airport has gradually bring tremendous change in the City’s business atmosphere and it opened more doors for a much better employment opportunity and helped assured economic stability not only in the City but the entire province in general.
Apart from the P 195-M DOTC savings earmarked for the project , Ozamiz City airport is also a recipient of some regular funds for the usual airport improvement this year.