FORT RAMON MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija -- It initially popped out as an ambitious dream, but now it is slowly inching its way to becoming a reality.
Mocked and ridiculed at first for his “outlandish” ideas, Bulakan, Bulacan town mayor Patrick Meneses said he now feels vindicated for once thinking out loud of building an airport and seaport for his beloved coastal town.
Meneses, guest of honor and speaker during the 11th anniversary of the 7th Infantry Division’s Civil Military Operations “Gwapo” Battalion here on Friday, was talking of the P736-billion new international airport project which conglomerate giant San Miguel Corporation proposed to build after reportedly getting a green light from the National Economic and Development Authority recently.
The new multi-billion “Aerotropolis” project, an unsolicited proposal by business tycoon Ramon Ang, is reportedly being eyed to replace the almost four-decade-old Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, which has been operating beyond its design capacity.
The youthful Bulacan mayor, who was invited here by Lt. Col. Eugene Julio Osias IV, acting CMOBn commander, said this “big dream” of putting up airports, seaports and fish ports” came to his mind back in 2010 during a Baguio City seminar with fellow new local chief executives in Region 3.
During the Department of Interior and Local Government-sponsored seminar, Meneses said they were asked to write in a piece of paper their short and long-term goals and visions for their localities.
Meneses, who is now on his third and final term as mayor said he was initially scoffed at by fellow mayors for baring his “weird” ideas. “Baka akala ng iba, mga gunggong ang mga mayors sa Bulacan, madamay pa kami, dahil airport, seaport at power plant ang isinulat mo,” said Meneses, quoting fellow mayors who admonished him upon seeing what he wrote.