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Thursday, May 23, 2024

‘Bicol airport, cityhood of Daraga top agenda’

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DARAGA, Albay—Getting the Bicol International Airport completed and operational on schedule and converting Daraga town, where the BIA is located, into a city are Albay Gov. Joey Salceda’s two top legislative priorities when he takes over as the newly elected representative of  Albay’s second congressional district.  

 The district, which covers Legazpi City, is also the government regional center. Converting Daraga into a city is a priority since it supports developments the new BIA brings about when it becomes operational in 2018.

These priorities will hasten Albay’s transformation as Bicol’s economic development hub.

Two other infrastructure projects that must be pushed are the South Luzon Expressway extension to Legazpi and the South Luzon Railway connecting Manila and Bicol, he added.

These projects complement the BIA which is seen to bring to Albay about five million tourists by 2025, investments of about US$1 billion  and 235,000 jobs in 10 years.

The Railways South Line project, which was already started last year, will cut the present 12-hour Manila-Albay travel time by 5 to 6 hours. Together with the BIA and the four-lane SLEX Extension, this will ensure that Bicol would become the new investment haven in southern Luzon.

The SLEX extension to Bicol will include road tunneling sections of mountains that separate Region V from the rest of Luzon.

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