No two news stories on the Tacloban Airport Project are alike

No two news stories on the Tacloban Airport Project are alike

Oct 17, 2023, 7:45 AM
Atty. Junie Go-Soco

Atty. Junie Go-Soco


In the current news coverage of Phase I of the Tacloban Airport Development project, which is nearly a fiasco – a project that has gone awry, many news stories have been written. These stories are all on the same subject but each one has a different slant. Having been cited in most of these stories as a source of some of the views on the project, I am amused at how each story gives an aspect of the project, but not the whole of it.

It looks like, indeed, it is true that the news content of a newspaper reflects its editorial policy. Well for one, if it is overly long, the story will become so complicated and confusing that the reader may not understand what the story is trying to tell. Second, space limitations in the newspaper dictate the length of the story such that some key points are missed.

That is supposed to be well and good. The problem is that the reader might think that that is the whole story. While there is the usual effort to give the story some balance by citing an opposite view, the content of that balance may be inadequate, and the balance is not achieved at all. 

Take the case of the fiasco that is the Tacloban Airport Project, Phase I. The headlines tell a lot. They reveal the slant of the story. 

One emphasizes the economic losses that will result from the inability of the airport project not to open as an international airport featuring a large volume of tourist passengers. Another one cites the multi-billion cost of the project which is encountering a huge delay and a host of implementation problems many of which are clearly the fault of the contractor, MAC Builders in a Joint venture with ML Builders. Yet another cites the concern of some members of the Regional Development Council to get the project back on track and on schedule.

Amidst all this, it is apparent that the news while reflecting editorial policy has been able to generate attention at the local and national levels on a project that is certainly a game changer in this region. The upgrading of the Tacloban Airport to an international standard represents a giant leap in the region’s economic growth. To me, it comes next only to the famous San Juanico Bridge.

My computation of tourist receipts generated, using assumptions used by the Department of Tourism planners, is at 5 billion pesos per year based on the volume of 10,200 tourists arriving per an assumed 12-hour operation per day in a large passenger terminal building that will accommodate 1700 passengers at any one time. This volume of tourists is only half the capacity of the new airport terminal building. There is enough room for a higher number. 

Whatever the outcome of the efforts of the Regional Project Monitoring Committee of the RDC to speed up the implementation of this project, the media would have played a very significant role in it, even if no two news stories on the same subject are alike. Kudos to the Press people of the region, on the radio, in the newspapers, and on the internet. You are getting the job done. You make the news you write count.

#IAmBack #JunieGoSoco #NoTwoNewsStoriesOnTheTaclobanAirportProjectAreAlike #TaclobanAirport #MACBuilders #MLBuilders #RDC #OpinYon #WeTakeAStand

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