LAPU-LAPU CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte led the inauguration of the newly constructed Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2 here on Thursday, June 7.
In his speech, President Duterte expressed his excitement to present the new airport to the public describing the project as the “most beautiful airport in the country today.”
“It is exciting to see that we have come this far in letting our kababayans and visitors see and experience the results of our promise of real and lasting change. As one of the finest airports in Asia, this facility will showcase the best of what the Philippines has to offer,” the President said.
“The construction of this world-class transportation facility shows that government and our private sector partners are committed to provide our people with the necessary infrastructure that will enable them to live more comfortable, productive and meaningful lives,” he added.
He recognized the efforts of the Department of Transportation, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority and GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. for realizing the project.
At the same time, he praised the best homegrown designers who contributed to building the new terminal that houses priceless designs and artworks.
“Their masterpieces will not just add to this structure’s aesthetic value, but will also showcase to the world our distinct sense of warmth and hospitality, as well as our unique and rich cultural heritage,” he said in commending the local designers.
He likewise noted that the state-of-the-art facilities of the new airport would ensure passenger safety and comfort.
By serving millions of passengers annually, the new facility is expected to address the growing passenger demand in Metro Cebu and also promote tourism, stimulate commerce, and spur economic activities in the Visayas.
MCIA Terminal 2 is one of the major infrastructure projects to be completed under President Duterte’s Build, Build, Build Infrastucture program.
MCIA, the gateway to the Visayas and southern Philippines, is the second largest airport facility in the country with a rapid growth in passenger traffic each year. In 2017, it recorded 10 million passengers both local and international.
Slated to open in July 2018, Terminal 2 will increase passenger capacity to 11.2 million. The facility, which spans 65,500 square meters will lessen airport congestion.
Dynamic and elegant, the new terminal is made of an array of glulam arches, which form the roof curvature and define its geometry and modularity.
The timber arches become the main element in the creation of a dramatic internal space with sleek geometries and dynamic perspectives, where the undulating roof is reminiscent of the waves of the seas around Mactan island.
The new terminal has 48 check-in counters that are expandable to 72. Its has provisions for seven boarding bridges that can be expanded to 12 to serve wide and narrow-bodied aircraft. The Terminal 2 is equipped with 12 escalators and 15 elevators to facilitate easy movement of people.
GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. Is a Filipino-led consortium managing the terminal operations and other related areas of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
Under a public-private partnership framework, the GMR Group of India and the Megawide Construction Corp. formed a joint venture to build the new terminal facility.
GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. took over the management of MCIA on November 2014 under a 25-year concession agreement.
Apology to Kris Aquino
After the inauguration, President Duterte answered several queries of the media including the issue between Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and actress Kris Aquino.
The President shared that he extended his apology to Aquino over the matter through Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go.
“Yes. Totoo ‘yan,” he said when asked if he issued an apology to the sister of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
“I said, Bong, tell her we are sorry for the incident because she works for me sa Malacañang,” he added.
Duterte, however, said that he also respects the decision of Uson not to issue an apology.
“As I respect the opposition, I must also respect the people in my camp. She has invoked the right of free expression — freedom to express. Once mag-invoke ka nang ganun, wala akong magawa,” he explained.
“She has invoked a sacred right, iyan pa ang sacred. That’s guaranteed under the Constitution,” he further said.