When Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez announced that the provincial government of Aklan has already concluded talks with some well meaning investors on the construction of a world-class airport at Barangay Caticlan, Malay, Aklan, such pronouncement was viewed as a welcome development by Aklanons themselves.
During a video presentation sometime last year, some members of the Aklan media were visibly impressed by the project which was touted as environment-friendly due to its "green" concept.
However, said project was saddled by controversies as some quarters claimed that said undertaking will result to adverse effects to the environment. A leading broadsheet even reported that at least one columnist has "revived" long dormant theories that lopping off a hill at one end of the airport’s runway would cause the erosion of he white sand on Boracay a few kilometers across from a channel that is both deep and subject to strong currents.
Said assertion is purportedly backed by the "opinion" of a DENR official about the so-called environmental impact of this move, which has become the rallying point of one particular businessman who is reportedly leading he opposition to the project.
Reports have it that this is the opening salvo of renewed offensives against the project. It was believed that the party opposed to this undertaking seems to move heaven and earth to sabotage the project because it wants to build its own airport on nearby Carabao Island on a land it had already acquired.
Skeptics who know better believe the notion that this is no longer an environmental issue. Instead, they dismissed it as land speculation. Nothing more, nothing less.
It may be recalled that said project came under fire due to environmental issues which came out in the national dailies. But the provincial officials led by Aklan Rep. Florencio Miraflores doused misconceptions regarding the project by writing letters to the editor clarifying the economic viability of said undertaking.
Clearly, the series of attacks aimed at undermining a project are nothing but failed attempts at discrediting a feasible undertaking.
Thus, the provincial government, together with the consortium, must not lose sight and focus on the prompt completion of said project unmindful of the attempts made by some quarters whose agendas remain unquestionable and geared towards their selfish interests. /MP