27 Jan Lumbia Airport as a US Military Base or City Expansion?
The city government is exerting an effort to convince the national government to favor their plan of using the Lumbia airport as part of the city’s expansion rather than it be used as a US military base.
A Planned City Expansion (PCE) has already been created by city’s top urban planners with the help of the United Architects of the Philippines in Barangay Lumbia, conceptualized under the United Nation Habitat’s Achieving Sustainable Urban Development (ASUD) project with the Arcadis’ (global design, engineering and management consulting company) assistance. Foreseeing that the said barangay has the potential of becoming the new city center for it is not prone to floods. And as early as year 2013, PCE was already presented to President Benigno Aquino III and Cabinet officials as stated by Mayor Oscar Moreno saying that it was a part of the city government’s bid to promote the city.
The said PCE covers 820 hectares of land which includes the Lumbia airport that is currently being used by the Philippine Air Force’s 10th Tactical Operations Group. The land is owned by the Department of Transportation and Communications.
The city mayor sees the land as a strategic area considering that Mindanao Logistics Infrastructure Network (MLIN) access through or near Lumbia in its future expansions. This MLIN is a long-term development plan for the road network in Mindanao which includes new construction and improvement of existing roads and local roads.
Last January 11, 2016, city’s local economics and investment promotions chief Eileen San Juan met with the defense officials where she presented the city’s PCE and which includes the Lumbia airport. Showcased in the PCE are the proposed clusters of areas which includes the replica of Plaza Divisoria, local and national government offices and among others.
Engineer Isidro Borja said that the PCE conforms with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and was designed considering road traffic.
But if ever the airport will be used as a military base at the end of the day, city officials said that they would have to adjust the design appropriately not until their efforts of convincing the national government to favor the PCE is turned down.
The said city expansion is intended for the common good.