DOST Sec. de la Peña (middle) leads the installation of the time capsule at the groundbreaking ceremony of the DOST-PAGASA Synoptic Station in Brgy. Caipilan, Siquijor, Siquijor.  Joining the groundbreaking are (L-R) PAGASA Chief Administrative Officer Catalino Davis, DOST-VII Regional Director Edilberto Paradela, Siquijor town Mayor Richard Quezon, Siquijor Provincial Governor Zaldy Villa, DOST-PAGASA Administrator Vicente Malano, PAGASA Regional Services OIC Engr. Alfredo Quiblat, and DOST-Negros Oriental Provincial Director Atty. Gilbert Arbon.

The Department of Science and Technology-PAGASA will soon set up here at Brgy. Caipilan, Siquijor town a synoptic weather station  “The setting up of this station is crucial in the operation of our would-be airport in Siquijor,” Siquijor Governor Zaldy S. Villa quips during the groundbreaking. “The establishment of the airport has been approved in 2016. Hopefully, there will no more hindrance after the synoptic station is set up.” Airports are required to have their synoptic stations where all meteorological elements are made and transmitted to the Central Office, according to Sec. Fortunato T. de la Peña.

The DOST-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.

DOST-PAGASA Administrator Dr. Vicente Malano told that 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. Siquijor’s small airport is about 5 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 1.2km x 30 meter concrete runway. Gov. Villa said that the budget for the Siquijor airport was directly given by President Rody Duterte himself.