MANILA, Philippines – Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya has reiterated that the Aquino administration is not inclined towards unsolicited proposals for an alternative airport that would take the place of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Abaya made the statement following the announcement of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp (SMC), through its president and chief operating officer Ramon S Ang, its planned $10 billion-new international airport.
“Government policy is biased towards solicited [proposals],” Abaya said.
Ang earlier said SMC will present to Malacanang next month its proposed international gateway located in a 800-hectare property in Manila.
Nikkei reported that SMC plans to build the $10 billion international gateway with 4 runways and higher passenger capacity, in contrast to NAIA’s single-runway in an area half that size in Pasay City. This would be offered to the government under a build-operate-transfer scheme wherein ownership would be turned over to the state after 25 years.
SMC earlier announced that it was supposed to present the plan to President Benigno Aquino III in February last year, but later said it would indefinitely postpone the presentation citing the unclear policy of the Department of Transportation and Communications.
Abaya said he has not receive any proposal to build a new airport from SMC or any other private corporation.
“We have yet to receive any formal or informal proposal. We are waiting for something that isn’t there, so I guess it is safe for government to proceed,” Abaya said.
Abaya earlier said the DOTC is looking at Sangley Point in Cavite and Laguna de Bay as proposed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as the possible site of a new international gateway.
“JICA has now firmed up its position on Sangley. That was the report, they are firming that up,” he said.
The DOTC wants to operate a new international airport by 2027, with the joint development of the congested NAIA in Manila and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
A JICA study showed that passengers in the Greater Capital Region would grow from 31.88 million in 2012 to 106.7 million by 2040. It expects passengers from the National Capital Region, Central Luzon and CALABARZON to rise steadily to 49.8 million in 2020, 75 million in 2030, and 106.7 million in 2040.
To meet this anticipated passenger traffic, the government has identified two viable options – the expansion of Clark International Airport (CIA) and the development of a new international airport 20 to 30 minutes away from Metro Manila. – Rappler.com