Metro Pacific: Aviation is our 'next new industry'
MANILA, Philippines – Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) is venturing into aviation infrastructure by participating in the auction of several public-private partnership (PPP) projects and assisting the government in building a new international airport.
"We want airports to be our next new industry – vertical as we call it – because right now we're in roads, rail, water, power, and hospitals," Karim Garcia, vice president for business development of MPIC, told reporters on the sidelines of the Euromoney Philippines Investment Forum in Taguig City on Tuesday, September 6.
MPIC's subsidiaries include Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, Maynilad Water Holding Company Incorporated, Manila Electric Company, and Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Incorporated.
The Manuel V. Pangilinan-led conglomerate said it will join the bidding for the 5 regional airports project worth P108.19 billion ($2.4 billion) of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Although the department has yet to issue a bid submission date, Garcia said his company has spent "a considerable amount of time, money, and effort" on the airports PPP deal.
"We have to give them time to look at it, study it, hopefully to improve on it, to make structural changes that will improve the regional airports project," he added.
The previous administration bundled the 5 regional airports into two groups: the first bundle consists of the Bacolod-Silay Airport and Iloilo Airport, while the second package includes the New Bohol (Panglao) Airport, Laguindingan Airport, and Davao Airport.
"Our interest today is the same as our interest when it started," MPIC's Garcia said.
"Our foreign investors are still interested, so we look forward to the DOTr and the PPP Center relaunching the project," he added.
New international airport
Other than the regional airports, the Metro Pacific official said his office is keen on helping the government build a new international airport that will support the dilapidated Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
"We are always interested in improving the infrastructure of this country – whether it be the improvement of NAIA or a new greenfield airport," Garcia replied when asked if his group will submit an unsolicited proposal for a new international airport, like that of San Miguel Corporation.
Garcia said what they need from the government is a "clear direction" of what it wants to do in terms of the country's main international airport.
"Do they want to improve NAIA and it keep for the next 10 to 20 years or do they seriously want to look at greenfield option?" he said.
"If they want to go to that direction (unsolicited proposals), we'll be supportive," he added.
There are 3 proposals for a new airport.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency and the All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corporation submitted a proposal to the previous administration for a new airport involving conversion of the former US Navy station at Sangley Point, Cavite.
Meanwhile, San Miguel Corporation's proposed airport will "be constructed on a build-operate-transfer basis" and will be "located at the waterfront reclamation project along the Manila-Cavite coastal road at the border of Parañaque and Las Piñas cities." – Rappler.com