By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter

CAVITE GOVERNOR Juanito Victor “Jonvic” C. Remulla has approved a request from Lucio C. Tan’s MacroAsia Corp. and its Chinese partner for a further 90-day extension to complete the documentary requirements to post-qualify their bid for the $10-billion Sangley Point International Airport.

Cavite’s Public-Private Partnership Selection Committee (PPP-SC) Legal Officer Jesse R. Grepo told BusinessWorld in a phone message on Saturday that Mr. Remulla already approved the consortium’s request.

Mr. Grepo said on June 15 that the group was able to make a partial submission, but it asked for a 90-day extension to complete the remaining requirements.

The province’s PPP selection panel evaluated the request on June 16.

“Per deliberation of the PPP-SC, the PPP-SC is constrained to recommend to the Provincial Governor to grant the request for extension of 90 days or until September 9 within which to submit the lacking documents in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we are all facing, with firm reminder that the consortium must submit said documents on or before the said period granted,” Mr. Grepo said in a phone message.

The Cavite government had approved the first request of MacroAsia and its partner China Communications Construction Co. Ltd. to extend the due date for post-qualification documents, originally due 60 days after they received the notice of award on Feb. 14.

The province initially gave the consortium until the second week of June to process and submit the documents before a joint venture development agreement can be signed.

Mr. Remulla has said the province was hoping to break ground with its joint venture partner for the first phase of the airport project by the second quarter of the year.

The first phase of the project, which will cost $4 billion, includes the construction of the Sangley connector road and bridge to connect the Kawit segment of the Manila-Cavite Expressway to the international airport.

Phase 1 also involves the construction of the airport’s first runway. The airport is rated at 25 million passengers yearly, and is intended to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Cavite expects the airport to start fully operating by 2023, with partial operations to start a year earlier. The fourth runway will be opened after six years.

The same consortium will work on the other two phases of the project, but there may be contract renegotiations, according to the Cavite government.

The second phase, which will cost about $6 billion, involves the construction of two more runways, giving the airport an annual capacity of 75 million passengers.

The last phase is the expansion to four runways, bringing capacity to 130 million passengers.