02 Feb American Facility to be Started later this year at the Old Lumbia Domestic Airport
Since June of 2013, the former Lumbia Domestic Airport had stopped its operations for the public. From then on, the government of Cagayan de Oro City outlined a lot of alternatives to develop the unused 106 hectares of airport property.
Technically, the land area is owned by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Any plans raised for the Lumbia airport will also involve the CAA. The most recent of which is the planned construction of a United States military facility inside the Lumbia airport this year. The initiative is under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), according to what the Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on monday during the 46th founding anniversary of the 4th infantry Division of the Philippine Army. He also added that the erection of the facility will start when the documents are complete.
According to gazmin, the existence of the US facility in the old Lumbia airport present no danger for the people within the area. In the other hand, it only promotes growth and improvement for future disaster support measures and other concerns. The facility will contain inventories of disaster relief materials and humanitarian assistance supplies. The storing of these equipments are approved by the republic of the Philippines. This way, items can be disseminated faster compared before.
The agreement also concluded that while the materials stored are fully controlled and owned by the US military, the agreed location where they houses it, is owned by the Philippines.
The presence of these troops in Barangay Lumbia can foster stability in the security of the area, assist Philippine troops in their military trainings, improve economic growth and establish a community foothold in Lumbia. The best city engineers considered barangay Lumbia as the center of the Planned City Expansion (PCE) where the area is more convenient compared to the downtown Cagayan de Oro where floods are frequent, especially during rainy season. Brgy. Lumbia is foreseen as the new interior of Cagayan de Oro City in the near future, and this upcoming development in the old Lumbia airport is just one step going forward to steady prosperity.
Mayor Oscar Moreno also said that aside from the national benefits of the US troops’ presence, it is indeed the local economy that will benefit from this strategic move of placing the US Facility in the area. Currently, the Philippine Air Force’s 15th Strike Wing resides here.
With the help of the 2nd district representative Rufus Rodriguez, the city government are in their constant push to transfer the ownership of the old Lumbia airport back to Cagayan de Oro City from the Civil Aviation Authority.
If the agreement will take in action, all the negative speculations about the US military occupations in the country will be put in check if it is just pure rumors, or undervalued facts. After all, our hesitance sometimes grabs our chances to become better citizens of Cagayan de Oro and to contribute to the overall prosperity of the city.