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Arroyo to inaugurate upgraded Busuanga airport Monday

MANILA, Philippines - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will inaugurate Monday the newly rehabilitated Busuanga airport in Palawan province, MalacaƱang said Sunday. A Palace statement said the upgrading of the airport was announced in Arroyo's State of the Nation Address in 2006, where she noted its huge economic potential for tourism. Busuanga airport serves as a jump-off point to the nearby Calamian Group of Islands and the rest of Palawan, considered two of the country's major tourist destinations. The upgrading of the airport will directly benefit the citizens of the main Busuanga Island towns of Coron and Busuanga, including the island towns of Culion, Linapacan, Magsaysay and Agutaya, which have a population of more than 120,000. The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) put up $3 million for the project, while the local counterpart was P60 million. Included in the upgrading project are the concreting of the remaining macadam runway, rehabilitation of the existing runway, provision of stopway, expansion/concreting of the apron, construction of a new passenger terminal, renovation of existing passenger terminal, completion of the administration building, improvement of fire fighting building; Construction of new parking area, improvement of drainage system, rehabilitation of perimeter fence, provision of fire-fighting and rescue vehicles, and training of Philippine personnel on airport planning and design. Upgrading jobs will also enhance the safety of aircraft operation in accordance with international civil aviation standards and recommended practices. Expected to take part in the event are Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes, Reps. Antonio Alvarez and Abraham Mitra, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes and Korean Ambassador Choi Joong Kyung. - GMANews.TV