By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter
THE PROVINCIAL government of Cavite said it is “almost ready” to submit to the national government its revised proposal to develop an airport in the former US naval facility at Sangley Point.
“We will submit the more complete proposal by 28 February,” Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin C. Remulla said in a text message on Monday when asked for updates on its Sangley airport proposal.
He added they are clarifying rules on reclamation as well.
The Cavite government submitted last year its Sangley airport proposal to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) — indicating a project cost of around $10 billion and a partnership with a Chinese firm — but Transportation Undersecretary for Planning Ruben S. Reinoso, Jr. told reporters this was returned to the proponent for subsequent questions.
“Sinubmit sa NEDA, pero binalik ng NEDA rin sa kanila. Tinatanong din sa kanila anong legal basis noon [It was submitted to NEDA, but NEDA returned it to them also. They’re being asked about its legal basis],” Mr. Reinoso said in a Feb. 13 chance interview.
The Cavite government had earlier submitted its airport proposal to the Department of Transportation (DoTr), which gave it a no-objection clearance but did not commit to any obligation as the project lacked a legal framework.
Mr. Reinoso said the Cavite government may choose to follow from several frameworks for the project, such as the Build-Operate-Transfer Law, Government Procurement Policy or the Local Government Code. But as far as the DoTr is concerned, it would only be involved in the project for regulatory requirements.
Mr. Remulla said they have yet to meet with NEDA to discuss the clarifications on the airport proposal as they are “busy preparing to campaign (for the elections).” He added there was no deadline set by the NEDA to do this as far as he knows.
Aside from the Cavite government’s proposal, private group Sangley Airport Infrastructure Group, Inc. (SAIG) also submitted a $12-billion Philippine Sangley International Airport plan to the DoTr last year. But Mr. Reinoso said this project has essentially been rejected to focus on the Cavite government’s proposal.
“Sinabi namin sa kanila na [We told them] we have preferred to deal with the Cavite provincial government,” he said, referring to SAIG, the consortium formed by Solar Group’s Wilson Y. Tieng and tycoon Henry T. Sy, Sr.
The development of a Sangley airport is welcomed by the DoTr as part of its “aviation roadmap,” which seeks to build more gateways across the country to reduce traffic and ease congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).