San Miguel to join bid for Mactan-Cebu airport project
MANILA, Philippines - San Miguel Corp, country's largest business group, reiterated that it will participate in the auction of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport project, debunking reports it was disqualified since it already operates an airline.
San Miguel, which controls legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), said in a January 9 disclosure to the stock exchange that it "satisfies the criteria for participants in the bidding process."
It wrote that San Miguel "shall participate in the public bidding conducted by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) relating to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport project," a P20 billion infrastructure project under the Aquino government's public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.
Previously, newspaper reports cited the prequalification terms of reference the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) published in its website, saying that a company vying for the deal "cannot be an entity providing air transport services in the Philippines, be they domestic or international."
The winning bidder for this build-operate-transfer (BOT) project will be granted a 20-year concession.
The project involves the construction of a world-class passenger terminal building with capacity to carry 8 million passengers a year, as well as the operation and maintenance of the old and new facilities, the renovation of the existing terminal, installation of all equipment, including information technology (IT) required.
It aims to minimize passenger delay by reducing passenger terminal waiting time.
The airport facility is the second largest major international airport in the Philippines and serves as the gateway for 5.7 million passengers every year, representing 14% of the country’s overall passenger traffic.
The airport currently serves as a gateway to tourism destinations around the Visayas and the project is expected to further increase the tourists that flock to Cebu and nearby regions. In 2011, the airport served as gateway to 1.6 million tourists.
Various business groups have expressed interest in bidding for the project.
The list includes the strategic alliance of diversified conglomerates Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures. They are backed by ADC & HAS Airports, Inc, a global player in airport development.
The infrastructure group of businessman Manuel Pangilinan are also interested to include Mactan-Cebu in the portfolio of conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
In early 2012, the Gokongwei group has likewise expressed interest. "We have to look at the terms of reference," JG Summit Holdings Inc. president and CEO Lance Gokongwei told reporters on January 24.
The Gokongwei group operates Cebu Pacific, the country's largest budget airline. - Rappler.com