MPIC to join bid for Mactan-Cebu airport dev’t
Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has been added to the list of groups interested in the redevelopment of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport—the country’s main gateway to the Visayas.
The privatization of key pieces of public infrastructure to make up for government inefficiencies is the centerpiece of the Aquino administration’s economic program.
MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the Cebu airport would be an attractive market given its growing passenger traffic and ideal location in the region.
“The market is there and the traffic is good,” Pangilinan told reporters.
He said that, because of rising passenger traffic, the Cebu airport was one of the few projects available in the country that could justify the massive investment needed to modernize the facility.
The government is currently considering either an upgrade of the Cebu airport’s current facilities or a complete transfer of the airport to a more ideal location.
Aside from MPIC, another group that has shown interest in the Mactan-Cebu Airport is Ayala Land Inc., a subsidiary of conglomerate Ayala Corp.
ALI said it too would bid for the Cebu airport, once the contract is put on the auction block.
Also, Henry Sy’s SM Prime Holdings Inc. earlier offered to acquire the 300-hectare property in Lapu-Lapu City where the Mactan Airport is located.
Last July, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) finished its master plan for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport on the government’s behalf. The master plan will serve as a blueprint for the Cebu airport over the next three decades.
The foreign lender said construction of a new passenger terminal, one of the Cebu airport’s most pressing needs, would cost an estimated $180 million.
The Department of Transportation and Communications expects to bid out the contract for the Cebu airport early next year. Construction may begin a few months after the contract is awarded, and the project’s first phase is expected to be completed by 2015.
The MPIC group already has its eye on the joint development contract of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark Freeport, Pampanga, and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.
Clark is being groomed as the next premiere international gateway to the Philippines to ease the congestion at NAIA.
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