MANILA - The government might need to shell out $5 to $10 billion to ensure that the runways of Sangley Airport in Cavite will not be flooded during high tide or the rainy season, Cavite Gov. Jesus Crispin Remulla said Thursday.
The amount is needed to upgrade the current airport and build runways that would be 3 to 5 meters above sea level, Remulla told DZMM's Failon Ngayon.
"Kapag hindi natin itinaas 'yan, tutubigin 'yan kagaya ng mga nangyayari sa mga runway ngayon. Kinakailangan nila ng pump para maalis 'yung tubig sa runway 'pag tag-ulan o kaya high tide," he said.
(If we do not build it on higher ground, it would be flooded like the current runways. They need to pump out water from the runway during the rainy season or during high tide.)
"Even the roads to Cavite City, binabaha na din dahil mababa na nga. Below sea level na ang Cavite City," he said.
(Even the roads to Cavite City are prone to flooding because we are situated in a low-lying area. Cavite City is already below sea level.)
The Cavite governor issued the statement days after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered to "immediately" start operations at the Sangley Airport in Cavite to help decongest Manila's main gateways.
The transportation department has ordered round-the-clock construction at Sangley Airport after Duterte said he wanted domestic flights operating in the air base by November.
Despite Cavite's flood-prone location, it is still an ideal place to put up an airport as it is only 4 kilometers away from Metro Manila, Remulla said.
"Kapag umupo ka sa second floor ng Mall of Asia, makikita mo na 'yung Cavite kasi malapit na talaga," he said.
"'Yan talaga ay praktikal dahil 'yan ay nasa tabing dagat. Safety-wise, this is the safest place to put an airport," he said.