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Two New Airports to Rise in Mindanao

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will construct two new airports in the Mindanao region, the Manila Bulletin reported. 

Central Mindanao Airport, located in Barangay Tawantawan, M’lang in Cotabato, has started construction already, beginning with the perimeter and frangible fence last June. The P92 million taxiway and apron expansion project, meanwhile, is at 26.6 percent completion.

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said that the airport will be operational before the current administration ends in 2022. It will primarily accommodate the areas North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur and the southern towns of Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon. All in all, the development initiative costs P150 million.

Tagged as a priority project, MinDa said that the Central Mindanao Airport would support the operations of General Santos City International Airport and Awang Airport in Barangay Awang Municipality, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. It’s expected to spur economic growth in areas where agricultural products come from.

The DOTr-Soccsksargen area development office and provincial government of Cotabato are coordinating closely to create an Inter-Agency Monitoring and Advisory Committee for the project.

The other aviation hub that will soon rise in the region is the New Zamboanga International Airport in Zamboanga City. Revealing that the endeavor is part of the country’s commitment to the Brunei, Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), MinDa mentioned that construction will start next year.

BIMP-EAGA is a sub-regional economic cooperation committed to promoting development in remote areas in the four member countries.

Among the facilities the New Zamboanga International Airport will have are six jet bridges, a new terminal, a modern control tower, and a 3,400-meter runway, which can serve heavier aircrafts. 

The development project costs P13.930 billion. The DOTr already allocated P200 million for the local government unit’s acquisition of the airport site in Barangay Mercedes.

Infrastructure Boom in Mindanao

The Southern region of the country has been a priority in the current administration’s infrastructure development program. Even at the height of the pandemic, the government has followed through on planned projects, as Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said last September.

He mentioned securing funding for infrastructure and peace-building initiatives in the 29th Mindanao Business Conference, showing that the government has Mindanao at the “front and center of the Build, Build, Build” program.

Among the ventures he raised was the Davao City Bypass Construction Project. It was in June that the government signed an P18-billion loan agreement with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the second phase of the development, as reported by Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

Running approximately 45 kilometers in length, the road links Barangay Sirawan in Toril District with Barangay J.P. Laurel in Panabo City, Davao del Norte. It also features a 2.3-km mountain tunnel that connects Barangay Matina Biao and Barangay Waan in Davao City.

Once completed in 2023, the bypass road will reduce travel time from almost two hours to less than 50 minutes. The tunnel, meanwhile, will shrink the 44-minute trip into merely five minutes. The construction will start this year.

Aside from airports and road networks, the government has been focusing on an improved bus transport system in the region, especially in Davao City. In August, the DOTR ordered fast-tracking Davao’s High Priority Bus System. 

Impact on the Real Estate Sector

The property industry is set to benefit from the infrastructure projects emerging in the region. 

Colliers International Philippines believes that buyers will be leaning to residential areas near planned infrastructure developments. 

For this reason, they urge developers to emphasize price appreciation potential of residential projects in close proximity to public projects, namely Davao Coastal Road, Davao Monorail, Mindanao Railway Project, and Davao Bus Rapid Transit.

While the overall demand for condominium units has slowed down this year due to the pandemic, Colliers projects recovery in 2021, supported by economic growth and low mortgage rates. 

The house and lot (H&L) developments in Davao will likely see a decline in interest among property seekers. Last year, the remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) led the strong take-up in horizontal projects. 

With the financial crisis causing a blow on this segment, Colliers believes that this will result in lower demand. Similar to condo units, it’s likely to recover in 2021, with the central bank’s projected 7.8 percent economic growth and resurgence of OFW deployment. According to Colliers, OFWs are keen on finding properties with large lots.

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Article and Photo originally posted by Lamudi last October 16, 2020.