[ Manila Bulletin Online ] January 26, 2009
By JUNE S. BLANCO
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol — Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado and Felino Palafox Jr. of the Makati City-based Palafox Associates signed recently a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) laying out their responsibilities in the master planning of the resort island of Panglao.
Aumentado said the move ensures that horizontal infrastructure in Panglao and Dauis towns will be in harmony with the terrain in relation to the beach and the sea, that support infrastructure for the Panglao, Bohol International Airport will similarly be in harmony and will not clash with the rest of the structures, and that drainage and separate sewer lines are properly installed, among others.
The governor said he has chosen Palafox over its contender because of it’s international track record.
"Palafox has projects even in Dubai – the most modern city in the Middle East and even the world," he said.
Besides, he added, Palafox gave the more advantageous offer – it computed its professional fees by the square meter but gave a 70 percent discount, hence it quoted P9.5 million for the job.
In addition, it waived the P600,000 charge for the engineering concept design for the water and drainage system, which it will implement first in order to help Panglao Mayor Benedicto Alcala and the Municipal Council led by Vice Mayor Pedro Fuertes determine the loan amount that the local government unit will avail of to finance a modern and comprehensive waterworks system.
Aumentado said Panglao needs to anticipate the future if it intends to attract more tourists – tourism being its main economic driver.
The MoA already outlined the cost sharing for the undertaking by the stakeholders: P2 million from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) under General Manager Alfonso Cusi, P1 million each from the Department of Tourism (DoT) under Secretary Joseph Durano and the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA); P1.5 million from the provincial government, P1 million from Bohol Rep. Edgar Chatto; and P2 million and P1 million respectively from the local governments of Panglao and Dauis.
But the amount does not include Palafox’ out-of-pocket expenses for his team’s coming to the island to conduct consultations with the stakeholders.
The master plan, the governor said, will include the establishment of an aeropolis or airport city as envisioned by Cusi and MIAA think-tanks.
He said Palafox also committed to invite businessmen whose projects he undertook the master planning to invest in Panglao Island.
At the same time, Aumentado called on landowners not to give in to sweet-talking speculators who want to buy their lands now.
They will only jack up the prices later, with the original landowners not benefiting from the move, he said.