By: Alex P. Vidal
“I approach each project with a new insecurity, almost like the first project I ever did, and I get the sweats, I go in and start working, I’m not sure where I’m going.” – Frank Gehry
UNLESS Iloilo leaders will step on the gas and aggressively support and endorse the proposal of Passi City Mayor Stephen Palmares to build an airport in Iloilo’s component city, it will remain a proposal and will just be a voice in the wilderness.
An infra project of such magnitude needs a political godfather, someone with a Stentorian voice and an earthshaking impact and influence in the national leadership.
Colossal projects are dream projects of every Tom, Dick, and Harry in public office, but the bottom line is always funds, the moolahs, where to get and how to mobilize them once their sources have been identified.
We are aware of the pesky bureaucratic red tape and maze the project will be going through once it will be taken seriously by the stakeholders and the implementing agencies.
We are also aware of the changing political climate which can serve as a game-changer and can ruin its implementation.
We heard the mayor is mulling a private-public partnership so that a feasibility study can romp off. Nice idea and it should be pursued to the hilt.
Palmares has already reportedly forwarded the proposal to the Regional Development Council (RDC) headed by Iloilo Governor Arthur “Toto” Defensor Jr., but we have yet to hear more Ilonggo leaders getting head over heels on the proposed domestic airport for it to hit the ground running.
Filipino politicians are known to be jealous and don’t want to be left behind when it comes to grabbing a credit and getting a publicity over certain grandiose projects and undertakings.
Let’s hope Ilonggo leaders are not among them. Let’s hope they will rally behind the proposed project and ensure that it will be given due attention by the national government after the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has done its sight inspection in Santo Thomas village, site of the proposed airport.
ILONGGOS should rally behind Senator Franklin Drilon now that he has become a “pain in the ass”, so to speak, among the minions of the Duterte administration embroiled in scandals and anomalies.
For sure, Drilon, the legislative body’s lone ranger in the war against corruption and incompetence in the executive branch, is now in the radar of the dirty department owing to his high profile sparring sessions with neophyte senators Francis Tolentino, Bong Go, and Emmanuel Pacquiao.
It was fun to watch how the Iloilo senator made mincemeat of these characters, who are among the staunch allies of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, in the floor debates seen “live” by millions of people.
Drilon may have angered the demigods in the darkness furthermore when he recently blasted the administration’s ambitious “build, build, build” program for its “failure” and delays.
And the latest to taste Drilon’s fusillade was House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, his incredible P55 million SEA Games “kaldero” and all the fiasco related to the country’s hosting of the biennial regional multi-sport event.
For the scoundrels and the mediocre, Drilon has become an obstacle and a thorn.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)