SOCA REPORT. Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi bared the upcoming construction of the PHP176-B airport and seaport in the city through a public-private partnership during her State of the City Address on Wednesday (April 10, 2019). She said the construction would generate local employment. (Photo courtesy of Jom Dimapalao–Brigada Cotabato News FM)
COTABATO CITY -- Construction works on the proposed PHP176-billion international airport and seaport in this city would commence in June this year.
City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi bared this during her State of the City Address on Wednesday at the jam-packed South Seas mall multi-function hall here.
She said the proposed airport would cover part of Barangays Tamontaka 3, 4, and 5 while the planned seaport along the coastline of Timaco area would include a passenger terminal and international cargo container handling and storage facilities.
On the construction of the airport alone, the mayor said some 30,000 workers would be needed, paving the way for an increase in local employment.
"This is considering that the (airport) project will not only involve the construction of the runway and its basic structures, but also the construction of access roads, drainage system and flood control structures,” she said.
The two projects would be undertaken by the China Engineering Construction Company (CECC), under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme that was agreed upon with the city government through a memorandum of understanding in April last year.
“I am proud to say that after almost a year of negotiations, we are finally making this dream a reality,” Guiani-Sayadi said.
Recently, CECC sent her a letter reaffirming their commitment in pursuing the two mammoth projects, she added.
In the letter, CECC cited the city's much-improved peace and order situation as primary basis for them to pursue the project.
“We knew that you (Cotabateños) conquered a lot of difficulties to make a stable political environment under Mayor Guiani-Sayadi’s leadership, which is very precious to investors like us,” CECC said.
It added:” A local government that cares about their people truly is the most important factor that we will like to cooperate with it”.
CECC said Guiani-Sayadi has succeeded in transforming the city into a bustling metropolis worthy of competing with other key cities in the country.
Guiani-Sayadi, who is running as first-term mayor in the May 2019 polls, described the latest development as the biggest gain of her administration as city mayor so far.
Under the rule of succession, Guiani-Sayadi, who was then city vice mayor in 2016, took over the position of her elder brother, the late Mayor Japal Guiani Jr., who died from a lingering illness on September of the same year.
“To me, this is both flattering and pressuring. Gaining the trust of the people who surround you is one thing. But having the confidence, trust and belief of foreign investors is quite another,” she said.