20 more firms interested in P10-B airport terminal project-A A +A
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
CEBU business leaders and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza welcomed the intent of two conglomerates to undertake the P10-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport terminal project, saying the partnership of Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the undertaking.
Meanwhile, MCIA Authority (MCIAA) General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete said that aside from Ayala and AEV, about 20 companies attended the first market sounding of the terminal project in Manila last May.
Villarete yesterday said the 20 local and foreign airport operators, banks, construction companies, systems services and investment groups also signified interest in the project.
“I am confident it (project’s bidding) will be competitive and will bring about the best advantage for the government,” he added.
Mayor Radaza said a new airport terminal will help boost tourism in the city, but she reminded MCIAA about the taxes due to the City Government.
Villarete said the airport authority plans to send documents related to the new terminal project to the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordinating Committee (Neda-ICC) this week.
Villarete expects Neda-ICC to start deliberating on the project under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program by the end of this month or in early October.
Cebu Business Club president Gordon Alan Joseph said Ayala and AEV are financially strong, competent, and have the ability to professionally manage the project.
Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Prudencio Gesta said the joint venture of the two giant companies will ensure that the project is done well and completed on time.
He said that if AEV and Ayala end up working together on the project, the public can expect the output to be of high quality as both companies have expertise in construction and management.
“Instead of competing with one another, they just work together. That way, everybody’s happy,” he said.
Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Phillip Tan shared Gesta’s sentiments.
“The new successful business model is not by competition but through collaboration. If it succeeds, Cebuanos will benefit from it,” he said.
Ayala Corp. and AEV, both listed companies, announced in a joint statement that they signed an agreement to compete for the new passenger terminal, which will be designed to serve eight million passengers a year. The project is on the priority list of the National PPP Program.
AEV has stakes in power, banking, construction, real estate development and management and food processing. Ayala Corp., on other hand, is involved in real estate development, banking and financial services, telecommunications, water infrastructure development and management, electronics, information technology, automotive and international operations.
The interest of Ayala and AEV shows that there is a “strong” investor confidence in the Aquino administration, Villarete said.
“It shows their trust that this government will give them a fair deal on a level playing field and that the process will be above board,” he said.
Villarete said MCIA needs a new terminal as the existing facility, built in 1995, can only accommodate 4.5 million passengers a year.
According to MCIAA records, 6.2 million passengers used the terminal in 2011 and the number is expected to reach seven million by the end of this year.
The feasibility study of the airport terminal, conducted by MCIAA and the Korean International Cooperation Agency, was completed in October 2011.
Radaza, on the other hand, said she will be remiss in her duty if she would not push MCIAA to pay taxes.
“They (MCIAA) have been making a promise that they will pay what they owe the city,” she said in a statement to Sun.Star Cebu.
According to City Hall, MCIAA has unpaid real property and business tax amounting to P1.5 billion.
Radaza said the City needs the funds to build more classrooms, since a portion of the tax will go to the City’s special education fund.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 11, 2012.