Covering a presidential visit & an airport’s groundbreaking

It’s tough covering a presidential visit.

Especially if you’re from the private sector competing with all types of media & press people – plus the tight security – for that precious window of opportunity to take a photo of the president.

You get to learn, too, in an immediate crash course, how to walk backwards without hitting anybody while aiming your heavy photo gear and taking bursts of shots.

This was the case last April 28, 2009 when President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo planed in for the Opening Ceremonies of Palaro 2009 at Tacloban City.







But before proceeding to the Palaro venue, she had to take care first of some other important matters – the groundbreaking ceremonies of the DZR (Tacloban) Airport Redevelopment Project and a press conference.

Finally, the long-awaited modernization of the Tacloban DZR Airport now seems to be taking shape with the groundbreaking rites.








Total cost for the DZR (Tacloban) Airport Redevelopment Project is estimated to amount to P4.1 billion which will be funded on a year-by-year basis by the national government under the General Appropriations Act. It is being implemented by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) under Secretary Leandro Mendoza.

The Airport Development Project which has several components includes the construction of the New Terminal Building which has a floor area of 4,899.96 square meters with a project cost of P155 Million.

Now ongoing are two components of the development project namely, Asphalt Overlay of Runway and Construction of Shore Protection; and the Acquisition of lots for New Terminal Complex Area.

The ongoing Asphalt Overlay of Runway and Construction of Shore Protection component has a project cost of P625.50 Million. On the other hand, the ongoing acquisition of lots has a total cost of P130 Million. Scheduled for bidding is the last component which is the air navigational facilities which amounts to P230 Million.

The airport redevelopment was originally supposed to be coupled with the construction of the Bacolod-Silay Airport under the Selected Airports Development Project of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). While the construction of the Bacolod-Silay Airport was completed, the DZR Airport was left behind.

In terms of passenger volume, the DZR Airport was ranked in 2007 as the seventh busiest airport in the country, next to Mactan-Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro and Caticlan. Total passenger volume in 2006 was 400,000; 521,000 in 2007 and soared to 627,000 last year.

There are currently three airline companies plying the Tacloban-Manila-Tacloban route and the Tacloban-Cebu-Tacloban route. There are at least four daily flights to Cebu and Tacloban, and at least 9 daily flights from Manila to Tacloban and vice versa.

Source: PIA Reg 8 & Leyte First Movement

~ by gerryruiz on 6 May 2009.

15 Responses to “Covering a presidential visit & an airport’s groundbreaking”

  1. Gerry, this is a truly exciting news! I am looking forward to the day when that scale model at the DZR airport becomes a reality. It has been sitting there for quite a while. About time! Saba la anay. Bangin kami pumasyada dida ngan hira Peter sunod nga tuig medical mission. Salamat hin madamo hini.

  2. Gerry, I didn’t see the mayor in your coverage… while the BIG EVENTS and BIG PEOPLE were in town… was he out of town?

    • I saw the mayor at the airport tarmac with the welcoming crowd but somehow lost track of him at the groundbreaking ceremonies.

  3. Gerry,

    Which design will be implemented? Baga malipong man it ha ulo an news.

    • I’m also not sure as I’m getting mixed signals but it seems it’s the DOTC’s prerogative being the main implementing agency.

    • Here’s a news alert from BusinessWorld Online:
      Tacloban airport

      TACLOBAN CITY — Despite having held groundbreaking ceremonies for the proposed passenger terminal building at the Daniel Z. Romualdez (DZR) Airport, the Transportation department could not start construction yet because the building design has not been finalized. The miniature building displayed during the groundbreaking ceremonies led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo almost two weeks ago was just one of the options, said Dante Lulu, Transportation department area manager for Western and Eastern Visayas. The new terminal building is estimated to cost P155 million. Acquisition of lots for the expansion of the airport is ongoing, with only 30% of the targeted properties acquired by the government so far. The rehabilitation of the Tacloban Airport has been in the pipeline for the past 10 years. When completed, the DZR airport will become one of the country’s secondary international airports. (

      • Hoping for the best, in spite of things like this happening. May the winning design and the over-all finished product be a source of pride and of enduring quality. Can’t wait to land in that new airport. Is there a projected date on when the project will be finished? Thanks for sharing, Gerry.

      • Jerome, the projected date of completion is 3 years from now – around 2012.

      • Thanks, Gerry. 2012 sounds good. We’ve been waiting a loooooooong time for this to happen.

  4. Great stuff. Do you know the president personally?

  5. Pare,

    Kahusay hin duro hini nga imo mga ladawan. Sana matuman na.


  6. Gerry since the rehabilitation will include asphalt overlaying on the runway that will be finished in August, will it affect the flights that will be going in and out of the airport? Anong runway ang gagamitin nila?

  7. I am one of the frequent users of the DZR Airport. During the rainys season, passengers would have to stay at the place simply because PAL dont have sufficient umbrellas for all the passengers. I have been looking at the new airport perspective in the lobby, and always thinking…. sana manayon na ini. Based on tourism studies (DOT will agree with me), airport are plus factors.

  8. long time na nga ray kaaayad iton nga airport. sana madayon na gud. Improving na it tacloban.

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