MACROASIA Corp. is looking to bring in Philippine Airlines (PAL) and other companies of Lucio C. Tan to the consortium that will build the Sangley Point International Airport as a way to secure capital backing.

“MacroAsia is part of a larger group. So if our partner agrees, we may bring in [those that are] part of the group. PAL is definitely going to be of use,” MacroAsia Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Joseph T. Chua told reporters last week.

“Maybe PAL or other parts of our group can join. It’s up to my boss…. LT Group, [Inc.] is possible,” he added.

He said MacroAsia is not inclined to issue more shares to raise capital for the project.

“The capex (capital expenditure) is quite big because we don’t want to issue shares [as] it’s dilutive. If you look at our FS (financial statement), we’re pretty much under-leveraged, so we will go through debt bonds,” he said.

MacroAsia has teamed up with China Communications Construction Co. Ltd. for the $10-billion four-runway airport project in Cavite.

Mr. Tan’s MacroAsia had received on Feb. 14 the notice of selection and award for the first phase of the project.

Cavite Governor Juanito Victor C. Remulla has said the groundbreaking for the project will happen after the consortium signs the contract documents and completes all the requirements.

Mr. Chua said MacroAsia has yet to meet with its Chinese partner.

“Our partner did not come because of the coronavirus [outbreak]. It’s not like they don’t like it, they just could not make it. I think everybody could not meet,” he said, referring to the inauguration of the P486-million Sangley Airport development project of the Transportation department on Feb. 15.

The Cavite provincial government targets 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 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 (CAVITEx) to the international airport.

Phase one also involves the construction of the airport’s first runway, which can accommodate 25 million passengers yearly, helping to decongest Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

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

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. — Arjay L. Balinbin