THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) is not closing doors on a private consortium’s unsolicited proposal to build a $12-billion international airport in Sangley Point until the local government of Cavite moves forward with its own pitch.
Transportation Undersecretary for Planning Ruben S. Reinoso, Jr. said on Tuesday the proposal of the consortium formed by Solar Group’s Wilson Y. Tieng and SM’s Henry T. Sy, Sr. would not be scrapped until the final decision was made on the Cavite government’s plan.
When asked if the DoTr is still considering the Sy-Tieng group’s proposal, Mr. Reinoso told reporters, “Yes, of course. It’s still on the table.”
He added, the government only had to set it aside to prioritize the government-to-government proposal of the province of Cavite.
“The proponent for Sangley is the provincial government of Cavite. We have not been informed what legal framework they will use. Kasi (Because) they can opt to adopt several legal [frameworks]. Pwedeng (It could be) local government code, pwedeng (it could be) BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) law. But up to this time, we are not yet advised,” Mr. Reinoso said.
The local government of Cavite, under the leadership of Gov. Jesus Crispin C. Remulla, submitted to the DoTr in February a P552.018-billion proposal to build a Sangley Point airport. In March, Sangley Airport Infrastructure Group, Inc. (SAIG) submitted its $12-billion Philippine Sangley International Airport plan.
SAIG, which is led by All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp. and Belle Corp., proposed the development of a 2,500-hectare of land in Sangley Point for an airport and commercial establishments. The group’s proposal covers a 50-year concession period.
The airport will have two runways and is said to be able to handle around 120-million passengers once it’s fully developed.
Aside from the construction of the airport, also included in SAIG’s proposal is the rehabilitation of the Danilo Atienza Air Base to be a general aviation airport that will reduce the congestion at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals, essentially serving as an “aerotropolis.”
The Cavite government’s proposal, which is prioritized over the Sy-Tieng group’s airport plan, was given a no-objection clearance by the DoTr in July.
Mr. Reinoso earlier said the endorsement was given to the Cavite government provided it will not require any guarantee, subsidy or equity to the national government.
He said on Tuesday they had not discussed setting a deadline for the Cavite government to finalize its plans as they “wanted to move forward with the very advanced proposal of Bulacan, and of course, the one that’s also more advanced, the expansion and rehabilitation of NAIA.” — Denise A. Valdez