Kumho Industrial Company, a South Korean firm, has been awarded an $82.9-million contract to upgrade the airport in Philippine tourist hotspot, Puerto Princesa City, government officials said Tuesday.
The bidding, which was only open to South Korean companies, involved a process that was largely funded by a $71.6-million Korean Export-Import Bank soft loan.
Puerto Princesa, capital city of Palawan Island in the southwest region of the Philippines, has garnered much attention as a favorite vacation destination; attracting thousands of locals and foreigners. Known for its pristine beaches, rainforests and mangrove sanctuaries, and of course, its famed Subterranean River, the city is being marketed as an ecotourism destination.
“The ecotourism showcase that is Puerto Princesa, as well as the rest of Palawan, will soon have a modern, world-class airport which we can be as proud of as the destination itself,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said.
A whopping 1.335 million passengers came through the city’s existing airport in 2013; way beyond its yearly capacity of 350,000 passengers, according to the transport department.
Upon completion, the upgraded airport will be able to process up to two million passengers each year.