Bu­la­can air­port’s fran­chise bill set for Se­nate ple­nary dis­cus­sion

Business World - - Corporate News -

THE bill grant­ing a 50-year fran­chise to the San Miguel Ae­roc­ity, Inc. has been en­dorsed for ple­nary de­lib­er­a­tion in the Se­nate on Tues­day.

The Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Pub­lic Ser­vice adopted House Bill No. 7507, al­low­ing the San Miguel Ae­roc­ity to con­struct, de­velop, es­tab­lish, op­er­ate, and main­tain the Bu­la­can air­port and “air­port city.”

The new air­port is ex­pected to de­con­gest the Ni­noy Aquino In­ter­na­tional Air­port ( NAIA), Se­na­tor Grace S. Poe-Lla­man­zares said in her spon­sor­ship speech, Tues­day evening.

“The only op­tion for NAIA is to fi nd another site, the route two of the world’s mam­moth, modern and new­est air­ports — Is­tan­bul and Bei­jing — has taken. Or re­claim the sea be­side it, as what Hong Kong is do­ing,”

The pro­posed P1.5-tril­lion Bu­la­can air­port and air­port city are ex­pected to ac­com­mo­date 100 mil­lion pas­sen­gers an­nu­ally. San Miguel Ae­roc­ity will also build an ex­press­way that will link it to North Lu­zon Ex­press­way and a rail link through Metro Rail Tran­sit-7.

Ms. Lla­man­zares also raised its im­por­tance in terms of help­ing the tourism in­dus­try and other re­lated sec­tors to re­cover from the coro­n­avirus pan­demic that locked down the coun­try.

“The em­ploy­ment and tourism-gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity of this air­port are far­reach­ing at a time when we are badly hit by the pan­demic,” she said.

The 50-year fran­chise is in­clu­sive of a 10-year max­i­mum pe­riod for the de­sign, plan­ning and con­struc­tion of the air­port and air­port city. It will also ex­empt the grantee from di­rect and in­di­rect taxes dur­ing the 10-year con­struc­tion pe­riod.

The fran­chise may also be re­voked should San Miguel Ae­roc­ity fail to start con­struc­tion within one year or start op­er­a­tion within one year af­ter se­cur­ing a per­mit from the Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity of the Philippine­s.

Other con­di­tions for re­vo­ca­tion are the fail­ure to start op­er­at­ing within 12 years from the en­act­ment and the fail­ure to con­tin­u­ously op­er­ate for two years.

The grantee will also be en­ti­tled to a rev­enue share worth 12% of the in­ter­nal rate of re­turn ( IRR) an­nu­ally, upon de­ter­mi­na­tion by a com­pe­tent author­ity that San Miguel Ae­roc­ity has re­cov­ered the in­vest­ment cost. Amount in ex­cess of the 12% IRR will be re­mit­ted to the govern­ment.

Fur­ther, the grantee is man­dated to re­port an­nu­ally to Congress and may be pe­nal­ized with a fi ne of P1 mil­lion per day for ev­ery day it fails to sub­mit a re­port.

Also on Tues­day evening, Ms. Lla­man­zan­res rec­om­mended the 25-year fran­chises for the Cruz Tele­phone Co., In­ter­na­tional Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Corp., Tandag Elec­tric and Tele­phone Co., Inc. FBS Ra­dio Net­work, Inc. Cen­tury Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Mar­ket­ing Cen­ter, Inc., Cac­eres Broad­cast­ing Corp., Ne­gros Broad­cast­ing and Pub­lish­ing Corp., Philip­pine Col­lec­tive Me­dia Corp., Davao Light and Power Co., Inc., and the Metro Manila Turf Club. —

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