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Bu­la­can air­port pro­ject ground­break­ing be­ing de­layed — pro­po­nent

Business World - - Front Page - Ar­jay L. Bal­in­bin

THE GROUND­BREAK­ING for the planned Bu­la­can air­port that was planned for this month is be­ing de­layed af­ter the gov­ern­ment raised con­cerns about the con­tract, the pro­ject pro­po­nent told re­porters on Sun­day.

At the same time, the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DoTr) said the Ni­noy Aquino In­ter­na­tional Air­port (NAIA) re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­ject, which the Na­tional Eco­nomic and Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (NEDA) Board ap­proved on Fri­day last week, is ex­pected to be im­ple­mented start­ing 2021 even as the pro­ject has yet to un­dergo Swiss chal­lenge whereby the orig­i­nal pro­posal will be matched by com­pet­ing offers of other par­ties. “De­layed na ’yung ground­break­ing dahil on hold eh,” San Miguel Corp. Pres­i­dent and Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer Ra­mon S. Ang told re­porters last Sun­day in Ala­bang when asked for up­dates on the planned ground­break­ing for the Bu­la­can air­port.

Asked when San Miguel was sup­posed to break ground for the pro­ject, Mr. Ang replied: “This De­cem­ber, kaya lang meron na na­man silang (but the gov­ern­ment again raised) is­sue.” “Ta­nun­gin n’yo kay (DoTr Sec­re­tary Arthur P.) Tu­gade. Meron na na­man bagong (There is a new) is­sue daw eh. Meron na na­mang nag­tatanoong ng

kung ano-ano (Some­one is again rais­ing var­i­ous is­sues)… Nag­padala na na­man daw ng mga su­lat, ng kung ano-ano na na­man. Dini-de­lay nila (Some­one again sent a let­ter rais­ing var­i­ous is­sues. The pro­ject is be­ing de­layed),” he added.

Trans­porta­tion Sec­re­tary Arthur P. Tu­gade told re­porters sep­a­rately that it was the Depart­ment of Fi­nance (DoF) that raised con­cerns about the pro­ject con­tract.

“Its not even a ma­jor con­cern.Si (Fi­nance) Sec(re­tary Car­los G.) Dominguez (III) ma­hal niya ang bayan. Makikita niyo ’yung mga con­tract na di­naan sa Fi­nance it will ben­e­fit the coun­try (he loves the coun­try. You will see that con­tracts re­viewed by DoF ben­e­fit the coun­try),” Mr. Tu­gade said. “Gusto niya lang makita na ta­la­gang

‘yung sinasabi namin na (Mr. Dominguez just wants to make sure that con­tracts are) in fa­vor of gov­ern­ment, ma-klaro.

He is not mak­ing ob­jec­tions. In other words it’s an is­sue of word­ings and in­ter­pre­ta­tions kaya sinama sa DoJ (Depart­ment of Jus­tice) re­view… ’yung cap

sa (con­cern­ing the cap on gov­ern­ment) li­a­bilty,” he added.

Not­ing that the con­tract for up­grad­ing as well as op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance of Clark In­ter­na­tional Air­port caps the gov­ern­ment’s li­a­bil­ity in the pro­ject, Mr. Tu­gade said there should also be such a cap in the Bu­la­can air­port pro­ject.

The P734-bil­lion Bu­la­can air­port pro­ject, which will be of­fi­cially called the New Manila In­ter­na­tional Air­port, in­volves con­struc­tion of a 2,400-hectare air­port with four par­al­lel run­ways (ex­pand­able to six run­ways), eight taxi­ways and three pas­sen­ger ter­mi­nal build­ings. It will have an an­nual ca­pac­ity of 100 mil­lion trav­el­ers, which the gov­ern­ment hopes will help de­con­gest Ni­noy Aquino In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Pasay City.

As for NAIA re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, the DoTr said in a news re­lease on Mon­day that the pro­ject with have three phases run­ning from 2021 to 2024.

The con­sor­tium un­der­tak­ing the pro­ject con­sists of Aboitiz In­fraCap­i­tal, Inc; AC In­fra­struc­ture Hold­ings Corp.; Al­liance Global Group, Inc.; Asia’s Emerg­ing Dragon Corp.; Fil­in­vest Devel­op­ment Corp.; JG Sum­mit Hold­ings, Inc.; and Metro Pa­cific In­vest­ments Corp.

Phase 1, which will be im­ple­mented from 2021 to 2022, “in­volves the im­me­di­ate im­prove­ments and re­con­fig­u­ra­tion of the ex­ist­ing air­port ter­mi­nals” that will in­crease NAIA’s ca­pac­ity to 47 mil­lion pas­sen­gers per an­num (MPPA) from 31 MPPA cur­rently.

Phase 2, from 2022 to 2023, will cover devel­op­ment of a new pas­sen­ger build­ing (Ter­mi­nal 2 An­nex) and im­prove­ment of the cor­re­spond­ing apron to in­crease the ca­pac­ity to 21 MPPA from 11 MPPA. This phase also in­volves re­con­fig­u­ra­tion and ex­pan­sion of the Ter­mi­nal 3 build­ing and apron to in­crease ter­mi­nal ca­pac­ity to 24 MMPA from 23 MPPA, as well as con­struc­tion of a new taxi­way and in­stal­la­tion and up­grad­ing of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Nav­i­ga­tion, Sur­veil­lance/ Air Traf­fic Man­age­ment equip­ment.

Phase 3, to be im­ple­mented from 2023 to 2024, will cover, among oth­ers, con­struc­tion of new ter­mi­nals (a new ter­mi­nal an­nex build­ing will add 5 MPPA) and ex­pan­sion of ex­ist­ing ter­mi­nals to in­crease ca­pac­ity to 65 MPPA from 58 MPPA.

The NEDA Board ap­proved ap­proved last Fri­day the un­so­licited P102-bil­lion pro­posal from the coun­try’s top ty­coons to re­ha­bil­i­tate NAIA. The pro­ject will be sub­jected to a Swiss chal­lenge af­ter the Manila In­ter­na­tional Air­port Au­thor­ity and the NAIA Con­sor­tium agree on terms and con­di­tion of the con­ces­sion agree­ment. MIAA will sub­mit the draft agree­ment to the Of­fice of the So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral and the DoF for com­ment. —

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