Cavite wants Air Force in Sangley
The government of Cavite wants the Philippine Air Force to locate its operations at the planned international airport in Sangley Point—a move it hopes will ease national security worries after a Chinese-Filipino consortium submitted the lone bid for the project that will rise on Manila Bay.
Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla said on Wednesday they proposed that the Air Force “co-use” the Sangley Point International Airport, which will be one of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects and a solution to congestion in Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).“That will ensure we have safeguards in place to assert our sovereignty over the development,” Remulla told the Inquirer in an interview.
On Tuesday, a consortium led by China Communications Construction Co. Ltd. (CCCC) and taipan Lucio Tan’s MacroAsia Corp. submitted the sole joint-venture offer to the Cavite government to develop the Sangley international airport.At an estimated project cost of P500 billion, the project could also be one of China’s biggest investments in the Philippines, where it has also offered to build railway lines in Luzon and Mindanao.
A military presence in the air gateway, located about 10 kilometers west of the capital across Manila Bay, could allay security concerns in a country where China is deeply mistrusted among the general population.
A Social Weather Stations survey released in November showed that 54 percent of Filipinos have “little trust” in China. This was despite the popular Duterte administration’s pivot to Beijing despite a territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
Remulla said the offer to the Air Force, which once controlled the Sangley Airport site formally called the Danilo Atienza Air Base, was an ongoing process.
“It’s still a proposal and the DOTr (Department of Transportation) and Air Force still have to talk about it,” he said.
Remulla said on Wednesday they also received offers from Flughafen München GmbH, the operator of Munich Airport in Germany, as well as two unnamed British companies to run the Sangley Point International Airport.
While no final decision has been made, he said they were “leaning toward” the German operator.
For now, the local government’s public-private partnership selection committee is moving ahead with the detailed evaluation of legal, technical and financial qualifications of the CCCC-MacroAsia proposal.
“If the joint-venture proposal meets all the requirements, the consortium will be officially selected as the province’s JV partner,” the Cavite government said in a separate statement. This could be issued on or before Jan. 15, 2020, it added.
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