By Dhel Nazario
A synoptic weather station is set to be put up by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Barangay Caipilan, Siquijor.
Siquijor Governor Zaldy Villa was ecstatic with the construction of the weather station as it is in crucial in the operation of the would-be airport in Siquijor.
“The establishment of the airport has been approved in 2016. Hopefully, there will no more hindrance after the synoptic station is set up,” he announced during the groundbreaking.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) synoptic weather station is vital in the island-province’s push for the speedy completion of its airport.
Its groundbreaking was held as part of the celebration of the Regional Science and Technology Week at Capital Square in Siquijor, Siquijor.
Airports were required to have their synoptic stations where all meteorological elements are made and transmitted to the Central Office, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said.
DOST-PAGASA Administrator Dr. Vicente Malano said synoptic stations enable the dissemination of public weather forecasts, tropical cyclone bulletins, warnings and advisories, and other related information that protect the lives and property of the general populace.
The completion of Siquijor airport is very crucial in addressing the spurt of tourist arrivals in the province which reached its peak in 2018 with a 48.8 percent growth, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Siquijor’s small airport is about five kilometers (km) west of Siquijor town. In 2017, construction began to expand it into a full airport with international flights. However, it is still up for completion.
According to a report, the terminal is expected to hold 120 passengers per hour. It will also have a power house building and vehicle parking area with an 80-car capacity. Meanwhile, it will have a 1.2 km x 30-meter concrete runway.
Gov. Villa said that the budget for the Siquijor airport was directly given by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.
“The President gave P500 million for the airport extension plus an additional P200 million,” he said.