Itbayat airport now named after Abad
ITBAYAT, Batanes—The only operating airfield in this island—the northernmost town in the country’s northernmost province—has been renamed Jorge Abad Airport, through a resolution recently passed by the local council here.
The change is in honor of Jorge Abad, the former secretary of Public Works back in 1955 and the first Ivatan (the indigenous people of the island) member of Cabinet, the resolution stated.
The father of former congressman and former Budget secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad was said to be instrumental in sourcing funds for the construction of the airstrip.
Ivatan historians claim the airstrip was also created in collaboration with the locals, who leveled the hilly site manually, using crowbars and hoes, as no contractors and heavy equipment could reach Batanes at the time.
Batanes has another airport in Basco, about 40 kilometers south of Itbayat, on the main island of the provincial group of islands. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines classifies Itbayat Airport as a community airport.
Itbayat is a fifth-class municipality with a population of just 2,867 as of the 2015 census. It is just 200 kilometers from the southernmost tip of Taiwan.