MANILA, Philippines – The group of Manuel V. Pangilinan is in talks with foreign airport operators in Asia and Europe for its Mactan-Cebu airport project bid.
However, Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) will only pursue a deal after the government has finalized its rules on whether groups with current stakes in the aviation sector can participate in the bid for the P17-billion project.
“We’re talking with several potential partners. Let me just say that they are Asian and European airport operators. The choices will depend on final rules,” Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of the Philippine Investment Summit 2013 on Wednesday, January 30.
He explained that they decided to tap a foreign partner for the project since “there are no local airport operators here, so it’s got to be a foreign partner.”
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), which is spearheading the project, is currently reviewing its bidding rules, which initially banned groups that already have stakes in airline or airport operations. It cited inherent conflict-of-interest as a reason.
The review came after some members of the Cabinet countered that foreign investors should be welcomed as their participation is part of the spirit of the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme. Big ticket projects, including the Mactan-Cebu airport, which is the gateway to central Philippines, are auctioned off as PPP projects.
Other groups that are keen on the airport project and have also protested the DOTC bidding rule include the Gokongwei and San Miguel groups, which respectively operates Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines (PAL).
The Ayala and Aboitiz groups have previously announced their partnership and have tapped US-based ADC & HAS Airports, Inc. to join their consortium, which will bidding for the airport project. – Rappler.com
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