Virac Airport in Catanduanes (Photo from TRAVELER CATANDUANES/Twitter @swisstan24)

VIRAC, CATANDUANES – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines led the inauguration of the rehabilitated Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) of Virac Airport in the island province of Catanduanes on June 1.

The improvement project that totaled P43.5-million was an upgrade of the airport’s terminal capacity from 100 to 300 passengers. The construction that started in 2016 and completed last May 14 included expansion of the ground and second floors of the pre-departure area.

The arrival area in the ground floor was also rehabilitated.

DOTr Secreatry Arthur Tugade, DOTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio Tamayo, CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongo, Philippine Airforce General Gelileo Kintanar, Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, Gov. Joseph Cua and Mayor Samuel Laynes were present during the inauguration.

“When President Duterte appointed us in his Cabinet, he gave us one important directive— ensure that we make the Filipino comfortable. That is why we continue to build, build, and build. We build to enhance mobility and connectivity, not just to improve movement of transportation of people and goods, nor just to improve travel. We do this to enhance the Filipino’s way of life,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said during the ceremony.

The lone airport in Catanduanes has been serving commercial flights since 1947.

Cebu Pacific (CEB) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) have regular flights to the island province from Metro Manila and Clark, Pampanga respectively.

The current runway is also being expanded and efforts are underway to upgrade the airport classification from 1 to 2.

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