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Bicol int'l airport project began before Duterte, is in Daraga

Duterte's quote embedded by FactRakers on Malacanang photo

Development of the newly inaugurated Bicol International Airport started in 2009; it is not a new project initiated by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. The airport is also located in Daraga, Albay, not in Naga City as Duterte wrongly stated.

Duterte said in his weekly televised address on Monday that the BIA he inaugurated on Oct. 7 is the “most beautiful thing he has done for the Philippines.” He also relocated the airport to Naga City, a city in Camarines Sur nearly 80 kilometers from Daraga town.

Vice President Leni Robredo, who is running for president next year, is from Naga City.

Duterte said:

Ah bago sa lahat, mayroon lang akong ipakita sa inyo na isa sa pinakamagandang nagawa ko para sa Pilipinas at ito’y isang project doon sa Bicol, at tapos na ‘yung airport nila. Masabi ko mas --- hindi nakalahati ang Davao, talagang maganda. I think next to Cebu, itong Bicol International Airport sa Naga ang pinakamaganda (Before anything else, I want to show you the most beautiful thing I’ve done for the Philippines and this is a project in Bicol. Their airport is finished. I can say that Davao isn’t half of what it is. I think the Bicol Airport in Naga is the most beautiful next to Cebu).

The Department of Transportation, which is behind the P5 billion project, said in a July 26 news release that the pre-feasibility study for the BIA began in 1996, the notice of award was given in 2003, but the project was beset by “more than a decade of delay.”

The airport was described as the “most scenic gateway” because it has the majestic Mayon Volcano as backdrop.

The BIA Development Project is on the list of the Duterte government’s Build, Build, Build projects. Information about the project on the Build, Build, Build portal showed the project started on Dec. 31, 2009 and was scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2020.

Duterte was inaugurated the country's 16th president on June 30, 2016.

Funded by the national budget, the airport in Daraga will replace the Legaspi Airport to accommodate bigger aircraft and service a bigger volume of passengers.

Rappler previously fact-checked a social media post claiming that the BIA is a project of Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program.


Build, Build, Build. (n.d.). Bicol International Airport development project.

Department of Transportation. (2020). Bicol International Airport.

Missing context: Bicol International Airport project is under Build, Build, Build. (2021, June 26). Rappler.

Talk to the people of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (Part 1). (2021, October 11).


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