The modern airport to rise in Panglao has been redesigned for sustainable development as a tropical airport, also as a way to brace against the impact of climate change.

Emmanuel Rabacal, chairman of the Regional Development Council’s Infrastructure and Development Committee (RDC-IDC), had recently been quoted that the New Bohol Airport project can now move on with the recent endorsement from RDC-7.

This time, the New Bohol Airport will be funded using a Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency-Overseas Development assistance (JICA-ODA), with a counterpart fund from the Philippine Government.

The airport to be constructed in Panglao will be considered a tropical airport “to better suit the theme of the island and will be designed like a typical tropical resort”, according to Cebu-based airport officials.

This confirmed the pronouncement of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. during his visit to Bohol last month that the project is now called New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project.

The budgetary requirement of P7.44 billion would be taken from a P5.862-billion STEP loan with JICA and the national government will provide the P1.578 billion.

It will still be implemented by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center posted in the government website disclosed that the project will engage the private sector for its operation and maintenance of the airport facility that is described as a greenfield facility.

The PPP Center even considers it as a replacement “to the existing Tagbilaran Airport within a 230-hectare spread”.

The DOTC also designed it “primarily to meet the initial requirements for domestic flight operations and possibly accommodate international flights during off-peak hours or at night time”.

As of this month, the project is already at the finalization stage.

The RDC-7 officials described that it will have a single-storey building and will use environmentally sustainable components, natural lights and ventilation for most public areas except the pre-departure lobby and offices.

Ecologists theorized that less heat released to the environment will lessen the factors that develop climate change catastrophes.

A bidding will later be conducted for the operations and management of the New Bohol Airport.

Jimenez earlier explained that ODA bears low interest rates, considering that the borrower is the government. With PPP, the borrowing that the private sector might resort to would be imposed higher interest rates.

The revision of the project details had already been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Investment Coordination Committee (ICC).

With the assurance of no less than President Aquino, the construction of the tropical airport in Panglao is expected commence in the second .half of 2013 and be completed by 2016.

This new development jibed with a recent wish statement of an observer  that the sprawling city airport area is a good sight for future PEZA site to house BPO and KPO firms.