DOTC: No more time to waste in upgrading Mactan-Cebu airport

THE Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said Sunday that it has all the necessary legal bases in awarding the contract of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) project to the GMR-Megawide Consortium.

DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya made the statement amid a petition filed by Senator Sergio Osmeña III asking the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the DOTC and the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) from issuing a notice of award and a concession agreement to GMR-Megawide.

However, Abaya said that whatever will be the court's order, the DOTC will follow.

“We will have to honor any court issuance that will prevent the project from moving forward, even if we believe that there is no more time to waste in improving the country’s second busiest airport. What we can assure Cebuanos who are awaiting this project is that we have the law on our side and we will defend this project to the end,” he said.

The DOTC chief said that the decision to award the MCIA project to the GMR-Megawide enhances the international community’s perception of the Philippines as an investment destination.

By sticking to bidding rules and refusing to be influenced by external factors, "we are showing the world that the country now has an excellent investment climate," he said.

"Gone are the days when big-ticket contracts would be awarded despite being tainted with irregularities. As promised, bidding at the DOTC is conducted on a level playing field, because we follow 'daang matuwid'," he said.

With a history of multi-billion-peso infrastructure contracts being burdened with legal and political issues, the Philippines has long been viewed as a risky investment option by businessmen around the world.

Several of these contracts, in fact, were entered into by the transport agency during previous administrations.

Abaya expressed belief that part of the process in attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs), which will boost the Philippine economy, is enhancing confidence in the country’s institutions.

This entails a perception that, if investors pour their money into the country, everything will be aboveboard, their investments will be protected by our laws, and the government will treat them fairly, he said.

“There is only one way to create that perception: to prove it with our actions. If we promise honest and competent governance, we must show it. If we promise a level playing field, we must do it. We made those promises to investors when we began with this project, and now we have proven it,” Abaya said. (SDR/Sunnex)


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