REP. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City south district) said he is setting aside his proposal to transfer the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to Cordova town – for now.
Osmeña said that since his proposal didn’t get the support from local government units, he would have to wait until after the 2013 election when there is a new Cebu governor.
“I give up because of the crab mentality of other people. Maybe I will just have to wait until after the next election,” said Osmeña.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said that there were more important concerns in the city to look into than pushing for the airport’s transfer.
Rama said he wanted to focus on getting a master plan for urban growth and trafficinstead.
“That airport transfer is his idea. I don’t want to add up to that anymore,” said Rama.
He said he was also confident that Hans Sy of SM Prime Holdings Development Inc. and other big businessmen like Manuel Pangilinan and Gokongwei will would wait until his proposal gains support.
Rama said he would in focus on other projects and selling lots in the South Road Properties (SRP) to raise revenues.
Osmeña earlier proposed to sell the airport lot in Lapu-Lapu City and relocate the Mactan Cebu International Airport to Cordova town.
He said the sale of the MCIA land was worth more than the cost of funding a transfer and the reclamation of Cordova land to accommodate airport facilities.
Cordova town mayor Adelino Sitoy approves of Osmeña’s proposal but is embroiled in controversy over objections by environment lobbyists and some fishermen against a 10-hectare reclamation in Cordova.
Sy has written MCIA manager Paul Villarete to express his interest to acquire the airport lot.
His letter is pending review by the committee of an MCIA board.
Osmeña said Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, for one opposes his planned transfer of the airport to Cordova town.
The governor instead wanted the MCIA expanded to accommodate more flights, he said.
“I will just have to wait until she is out as governor,” said Osmeña.
He lamented the reaction he got when he initiated public discussion on his airport proposal.
He said he was criticized and his proposal opposed by other local officials.
“Its very hard. Nobody likes to listen. But what can I do, I’m a dreamer,” he said.
Osmeña, however, said that he has proven that he can implement whatever it is that he dreams of. He cited the SRP as an example.
The 300-hectare reclamation project, funding by a P3 billion loan, was implemented despite opposition of other local politicians including his cousin , former senator John Osmeña.
“For as long as I have the SRP to prove a point, I can prove that I can do what others are not capable of doing,” he said.
Osmeña cited the benefits if the proposed airport transfer would happen.
These include cheaper operations of MCIA, the lot ownership issues of airport lots would be addressed, and traffic in Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and its neighboring cities would be decongested.
If the airport were situated in Cordova town across Shell Island, passengers from Cebu City and those from southern Cebu province need not travel to Mandaue and Lapu Lapu City.
They could just take a ferry ride from Cebu City to Cordova town.
“An airport transfer will start a chain reaction. It will especially decongest Cebu City of traffic and population,” said Osmeña.