MANILA, Philippines – Just in time for the province's Moriones Festival, Marinduque Airport resumed commercial flight operations after nearly 6 years.
On Thursday, April 11, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade led the inauguration of the reopened airport, along with the completed rehabilitation of its passenger terminal building and extended runway.
"I want the farthest regions and the farthest provinces to be connected with one another, and integrated to Metro Manila. Maganda ho (It's good) that we put things in the right order," Tugade said.
The Marinduque Airport, located in Gasan town, started operations in 2010. The last regular commercial flight took off in May 2013, then political infighting stalled operations.
When the airport was closed, travel from Manila to Marinduque usually took around 8 hours: 4 hours by land to Dalahican Port in Lucena, Quezon, and another 3 to 4 hours on a roll-on, roll-off ferry to the island province.
With the reopened airport, travel by air can only take about an hour.
Budget airline Cebu Pacific launched its inaugural Manila-Marinduque flight last April 1. It will fly from Manila to Marinduque, and vice versa, thrice a week every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
Tugade said the transportation and tourism departments are "ready to work" to improve the programs in Marinduque. (IN PHOTOS: The Moriones festival of Marinduque)
"Handa kaming makipag-ugnayan nang sa gano'n ay matulungan kayo na mamayagpag ang turismo dito sa Marinduque," Tugade said.
(We are ready to collaborate so that we can help boost tourism in Marinduque.)
The Department of Transportation said the Marinduque Airport will further undergo improvements until 2020. These will include the provision of a canal, a power house, communal toilets, and the construction of a covered pathway and waiting areas. – Rappler.com