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Construction of New Manila Int'l Airport in Bulacan in full swing
by Philippine Resources - November 11, 2022
Transportation Sec. Jaime Bautista leads the inspection of the New Manila International Airport in Bulakan, Bulacan on Saturday (Nov. 5, 2022). Operations at the new gateway are targeted to start in 2027. (Photo courtesy of DOTr)
The construction of the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan, some 35 kilometers north of Metro Manila, is in full swing, with Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista leading the inspection over the weekend.
In a news release issued Monday, the DOTr said Bautista was joined by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and CEO Ramon Ang and other transport officials during the inspection in the town of Bulakan.
Bautista assured stakeholders of the new international airport that the gateway will soon be open for business. Operations at the new gateway are targeted to start in 2027.
Land development works are now being done at the airport’s 1,693-hectare site.
Works on the PHP735-billion airport officially started on Sept. 18, 2019, when the government, through the DOTr, signed a concession agreement with San Miguel Aerocity Inc. (SMAI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of San Miguel Holdings Corp., and the infrastructure arm of SMC.
The DOTr and the SMAI are working together to make sure that the project complies with environmental protection requirements, particularly flood mitigation, considering the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) which was conducted prior to the commencement of works at the airport site.
Once built, the new international airport will be fully owned by the government under a “build-operate-transfer” program.
Once operational, the new gateway will not only help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as the capital’s main gateway, but will also be a “game changer” and catalyst of economic growth in Central Luzon. Phase 1 of the airport will have a capacity of 35 million passengers per annum, is expected generate more than 1 million jobs, and rake-in increased foreign direct investments and higher exports.
Under the 50-year concession agreement, SMAI will undertake the financing, design, construction, supply, completion, testing, commissioning, and operation and maintenance of the new international gateway.
With a design capacity of up to 100 million passengers annually and plans for four parallel runways, the New Manila International Airport is expected to help decongest the NAIA and enable the airports in the Greater Capital Region (Metro Manila and nearby provinces) to meet forecast passenger demand.
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - September 02, 2021
Palafox to make Bulacan airport and aerocity the pacesetter for green, inclusive cities in the country
San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) airport and aerocity project in Bulakan, Bulacan will be a pacesetter for green cities that are both sustainable and equitable, one that aims to address social and environmental concerns that affect even the country’s major financial districts today. This, according to the country’s top urban planner and green architect Felino “Jun” Palafox Jr. who outlined some of the major features that he and SMC president Ramon S. Ang envision for the much-anticipated development in Bulacan. Palafox Associates has been tapped by SMC to help masterplan its airport plus city concept or “aerocity” development--where its massive, P740-billion airport project, the New Manila International Airport will be located. Comparing the Bulacan project to environment-enhancing developments in Dubai and other parts of the world, Palafox said the development will integrate the best practices in green, sustainable, and disaster-resilient architecture that he has advocated and implemented in some 1,700 projects in about 45 countries worldwide. Palafox said the new development will take advantage of SMC president Ramon S. Ang’s forward-thinking and bias for taking action to undertake projects without cost to the government. “I’m aligned with the mission, vision and goal of Ramon Ang. He invited me to partner with him in this new undertaking: a green aerotropolis. At Palafox, we’ve analyzed that we need at least 100 new cities all over the Philippinex by 2050. If we don’t do it, our cities will become as bad, if not worse than Metro Manila. We envision the Bulacan Aerocity development as the first model and pacesetter for future green and sustainable cities in the country” Palafox said. (L-R) Urban planner and Architect Felino “Jun” A. Palafox, Jr., Mr Joey Nelson R. Ayson (President, Philippine Mining and Exploration Association), Marcelle P. Villegas (Journalist, Philippine Resources Journal) For his part, SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said that the project will be a legacy project, not just of him and Palafox, but of the present generation to future generations of Filipinos. “I want to emphasize to our countrymen that what we are building is more than just an international gateway with four runways, with an infrastructure network to connect it directly to Metro Manila and many other points in Luzon. The airport is just one component-- what we’re building is the Philippines’ first truly green city of the future,” Ang said. “We see this project as a silver lining amid all the difficulties we face today because of the pandemic. All Filipinos are looking forward to a future where COVID-19 is less of a threat to our lives and our economy. We want to see the positive developments that lie ahead for our country. I believe this is one of the best things we can look forward to with much hope and optimism,” he added. Ang also touted the significant economic impact the project will have on the country and the Filipino people. “Airport cities around the world generate a significant amount of jobs, and that is ultimately what we want to do. We need jobs and opportunities for our countrymen today, but more importantly, for the next generation in the coming years, especially since we are trying to recover from a pandemic,” Ang said. He added that “The jobs we will generate will not be limited to the airport city, or Bulacan province alone, but will extend to neighboring provinces, the rest of Luzon, and many other parts of the country which will benefit from increased tourism, increased investments because of better accessibility.” Ang also said that he and Palafox have agreed to integrate best practices in green architecture, green urbanism, and green urban planning to the Aerocity development, and avoid the mistakes that have contributed to the present-day problems of the country’s biggest cities today. Metro Manila: What went wrong Palafox pointed out a number of contributing factors that have made life difficult for many people working in today’s primary business districts, which the Aerocity project will aim to address. “The mistake in Makati’s central business district, Bonifacio Global City, and Ortigas is exclusionary or discriminatory zoning--excluding the employees from their places of work. Employees are like OFWs in their own countries, because they are five to six hours away from their places of work and families, because of traffic congestion,” Palafox said. “Before, real estate criterion was always location, location, location. Now, it’s more than location; it’s accessibility, accessibility, accessibility, and mobility, mobility, mobility. That is why the infrastructure that both government and private sector companies like SMC are doing now, are very welcome, as they alleviate the traffic that many people have no choice but to endure,” Palafox added. Palafox related that in 1990, Makati reclassified and increased the density of the Makati CBD by four times. However, access capacity and mobility was not similarly increased four times. Adding to the problem is the fact that the CBD is constricted by gated, low-density neighborhoods, villages, and a gated cemetery--making it more difficult for most people to walk to work. “Elsewhere in the world, NYC, European cities, Singapore, are ‘walkable’ because within 250-750 meters, there is a walking facility. Around Makati City, BGC, and Ortigas, you’re surrounded by gated communities, so you have to walk about one to two kilometers to go around. Our planning in the Philippines had the wrong model: Los Angeles, which was designed for automobiles,” he explained. He also cited the prevailing influence of Spanish rule as a constraint. “I’m talking about the colonial town plaza concept, where the elite or illustrados lived around the town plaza where the church, munisipyo and central park are. Meanwhile, the peasants or indios and Chinese merchants lived in extramuros, or outside. That was 500 years ago, but it’s still a concept in our urban planning development today,” he explained. Enhancing the environment Meanwhile, for Ang, apart from generating jobs, one of the most important considerations for the project is improving the environment--not just within and around the airport project, but throughout Bulacan province. “From the very beginning, I promised Bulakenyos and all our stakeholders in government that the airport project and the aerocity development will have significant benefits for the province and the whole country. We will make sure to do everything right, because this is our biggest investment to date, and our legacy to the next generations,” Ang said. “Specifically, we will clean up the environment, clear the river systems to enable water to flow freely again and address flooding; we will establish mangrove forests, with some 190,000 mangroves all over Bulacan and neighboring provinces to enhance biodiversity and help mitigate tidal flooding. We’re also looking to develop and enhance natural habitats of marine and bird species. There’s so much more we can do,” he added. For the development itself, Ang said he and Palafox look to integrate the following concepts: Adopt green architectural and green urbanism guidelines over and above the country’s building and zoning codes, which Palafox said no longer follows international standards. Follow the structural codes of other countries, specifically those situated in similar earthquake zones as the Philippines. Creation of an “innovation hub” where both learning institutions and technology-driven global companies can thrive. As such, Palafox has put forth a “town and gown” or university town concept, where learning institutions and the community partner together, such as in Cambridge and Boston in the United States, where Harvard University is. SMC is also looking to put up a medical and research facility along with the school. The aerocity project will be equipped with the latest in digital infrastructure, to enable people to work and conduct business anywhere. The development will also have lots of open spaces, as these are the “lungs” of a city. Palafox cited that Metro Manila went from green to gridlock because many parks and open spaces were reclassified into sellable and buildable properties. As the population grew, the parks and open spaces started disappearing. Meanwhile, the aim for the Bulacan development is to allot highest and best use for the improvement of the environment, and to address climate change. These will be included in his proposed guidelines for green architecture and green urban planning. Ultimately, the plan is to positively impact the whole of Bulakan, Bulacan so that in the end, Bulacan will not just be a province with an airport, but an airport-driven province. In master-planning the development, “ridge to reef” planning will also be employed, taking into consideration the improvement of mountain ridges or highlands, midlands, the lowlands, and the coastline. Public transport will also be easily accessible. One of the things being considered is a bicycle highway connected to the train system. Palafox said the city will be a “healthy city”. It will be “walkable and attractive”. It will have less need for security because it will be open and there won’t be too many walls around the city, which Palafox sees as encouraging crime, and contributing to the heat index, as they obstruct cross ventilation in cities. Meanwhile, the coastal area or Manila Bay waterfront will also be utilized for walkways, waterfront promenades. Finally, Palafox and Ang said they will prioritize the triple bottomline: people first for social equity, alleviating poverty, and job creation or inclusivity. Then planet and the environment come next, with prosperity, economic growth, and profit following. Article Courtesy of San Miguel Corporation
Philippine Resources - September 24, 2021
DOTr eyes GenSan airport as alternate int'l gateway
Photo credit: Department of Transportation The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is pushing for the inclusion of the newly rehabilitated and expanded airport here as among the alternate gateways for returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and international travelers. DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade proposed the move on Thursday as he personally led the formal unveiling and inauguration of the city airport’s new passenger terminal building and other completed facilities. He said the city’s international standard airport can accommodate airline passengers coming in from as far as the Middle East. Tugade said it can be realized once the proposed increase in the daily cap for returning OFWs, currently at 2,000 for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), is approved. Once the cap is expanded, he said NAIA might “choke” with the influx of airline passengers from various countries. “If we will increase the cap, we need to expand our gateways and not limit them to Clark, Cebu, and NAIA. We can include GenSan among the gateways for travelers from Doha who are going to Manila,” he said in a press conference. He said they will propose such strategy with the airlines serving the international routes, including the Philippine Airlines, and seek the approval of the city government. The other possible alternate gateways could be the Laoag International Airport in Ilocos Norte and the Bohol-Panglao International Airport, Tugade said. The rehabilitated and expanded General Santos Airport passenger terminal building, which was completed early this month, is part of the PHP959-million upgrade implemented by the national government. The other completed components are the procurement and installation of navigational aids and the construction of the new Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) administration building at the airport. Under the project, Tugade said the passenger terminal area has tripled in size from 4,000 to 12,000 square meters. “This will allow the airport to accommodate more passengers and provide them comfortable and convenient travel,” he said in his speech. A DOTr report said the larger passenger terminal building can now accommodate around 2 million passengers annually, a significant jump from the previous 800,000 per year. Tugade said the improvement at the city airport will continue next year with the upgrading of its air control tower, which he considered as “too low.” He said they will build a “higher and modernized” tower in 2022 to make it “more world-class” and can easily adjust to the needs of the airport. The official said the upgrading of the airport, which started in 2018, is among the agency and the national government’s top priorities in Mindanao. He said the initiative is part of the government’s efforts to bring more progress and economic opportunities in Mindanao, which “suffered from long years of neglect in terms of development.” Tugade said they endeavored to implement these projects despite the challenges posed by the continuing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic to pursue their goal of giving a “comfortable and convenient life” to Filipinos. “After the pandemic, we want all these developments in place and ready to benefit the people,” he said. In a video message, President Rodrigo Duterte commended the DOTr, the local government, and concerned stakeholders for completing the projects at the city airport amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He said the city has “gone a long way” in terms of the development of its air connectivity and airport facilities. “The rehabilitation and expansion of the airport passenger terminal building, among others, will truly boost General Santos City’s role as an agro-industrial and eco-tourism hub,” the President said. City Mayor Ronnel Rivera lauded the national government for helping the city realize its dream of having an international-standard airport. Aside from the expanded passenger terminal building, the airport is now capable of accommodating bigger aircraft like Boeing 737 and 747, as well as Airbus A330, A340, and A350. “(What) we are seeing now is a result of multisectoral commitment and dedication in various stages of the airport development, which includes coordination of several initiatives, preparation of the airport master plan, operations, and marketing,” he said. The mayor said the local government will continue to engage with prospective investors and airlines for the opening of more flights to and from the airport and the development of adjacent areas. He cited the proposed establishment of an aerotropolis or growth area centered on the city airport and its surrounding areas. “We are opening a wide array of opportunities, not only on the improvement of our infrastructure facilities but also in terms of investments that will generate more economic opportunities for the city and the entire region (Soccsksargen),” he said. Aside from the inauguration of the airport projects, Tugade also led the unveiling of completed initiatives at the Makar port here. The DOTr said it includes the construction of the Port Operations Building and other vital facilities, which includes a parking area, covered court, port manager’s quarter or Day Care Center, and drainage system. “The improved port of Makar will now offer safer, comfortable, and a more convenient port experience to passengers, while ensuring a faster turnaround for vessels, cargo trucks, and other ancillary service providers,” it said. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - June 09, 2021
Terminal 2 of Clark International Airport to Open in July
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade led a recent inspection of the New Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) of Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga. The inspection conducted is part of the preparation for the upcoming opening of the new CRK Terminal. With Luzon International Premiere Airport Development (FLIPAD) Corporation President Bi Yong Chungunco, personally circulated by Sec. Tugade inside the new terminal to see construction progress. Secretary Tugade is also with DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, to discuss the layout of the map route alignment for the North-South Commuter Railway Extension (NSCREx) project that will connect to CRK underground station. On July 2021, the new airport terminal for domestic operations is set to be launched, which will be followed by the opening of international operations in September 2021. It's estimated that it will be up to 12.2 million passengers who can service the new terminal will be open and full scale operations, triple the number compared to the current 4.2 million passengers it serves every year (before the pandemic). This project will help a lot in the long term economic growth of the country, tourism growth, especially in providing employment and other opportunities for our countrymen. In fact, more than 1,600 workers have also been given the opportunity to be part of the project in the midst of the pandemic and it is expected that the number of jobs will be increased by the time the new terminal of Clark International Airport project is finished. "You wait and see a real 'world class' terminal. It's coming up, it's coming up in Clark. Thanks to LIPAD, the men and women of Clark International Airport are really very good," galak na pahayag ni Secretary Tugade. DOTr Assistant Secretary for Aviation and Airports Jim Melo, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Chief of Staff and Airport Projects Team Head Atty. Danjun Lucas, and other representatives from FLIPAD Corp. Article Courtesy of the Department of Transport
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Philippine Resources - November 27, 2022
FNI posts higher nine-month net income of P2.13 billion
Photo credit: Global Ferronickel Holdings Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. (FNI), a diversified Filipino company with interests in ferronickel ore mining and processing, logistics and port operations, and cement and steel production, recorded a net income of P2.13 billion in the nine-month period that ended September compared to the P1.86 billion it posted during the same period last year. The results are driven by the Group’s flagship mining project in Surigao del Norte operated by Platinum Group Metals Corporation (PGMC). FNI's revenues on the sale of medium-grade nickel increased on the back of favorable forex rates and higher average realized price, while shipment volumes reel from inclement weather and a lower price for low-grade ore. The sale of nickel ore for the nine-month ended September 30, 2022 slides to 3.150 million wet metric tons (WMT), lower by 1.078 million WMT or 25.5%, compared to 4.228 million WMT of nickel ore in the same period last year. The Group only completed 58 nickel ore shipments against 78 shipments during the same period last year due to erratic weather conditions registering 161 rainy days to 137 last year. The resulting sales mix was 78% low-grade ore and 22% medium-grade ore in 2022 versus the previous period’s blend of 81% low-grade ore and 19% medium-grade ore. Shipments consisted of 2.450 million WMT low-grade nickel ore and 0.700 million WMT medium-grade nickel ore compared to 3.424 million WMT low-grade nickel ore and 0.804 WMT medium-grade nickel ore in the same period in 2021. The average realized nickel ore price for the period ended September 30, 2022 is USD28.89/WMT lower by USD1.89/WMT or 6.1% compared to last year’s USD30.78/WMT. Low-grade ore is USD25.49/WMT lower by USD4.30/WMT or 14.4% against last year’s USD29.79/WMT. On the other hand, medium-grade ore stands at USD40.79/WMT higher by USD5.80/WMT or 16.6% versus last year’s USD34.99/WMT. The average realized Peso over USD exchange rate for the Group’s export revenues is P54.87 compared to P49.22 in the same period last year, higher by P5.65 or 11.5%. “Overall outlook for FNI looks reassuring. With the opening of our Palawan mineral project, we expect healthier returns for our stakeholders. Although weather conditions have not been permissive, we have continued to improve our operations and pursue our expansion plans,” said FNI President Dante R. Bravo. FNI recently disclosed its 20% stake in China's Guangdong Century Tsingshan Nickel Industry Co. Ltd (GCTN) to enhance synergies between FNI with its nickel ore mines and GCTN as an ore processor and provide a steady value-adding enterprise for the Group. As a testament to its growth and core policy to strengthen systems and processes, PGMC has received ISO certifications for its Quality Management System (ISO 9001:2015), Occupational Health and Safety Management System (ISO 45001:2018), and Environmental Management System (ISO 14001:2015) as an Integrated Management System (IMS). The certification applies to all activities in the mining operations of nickeliferous laterite ore and other associated minerals from planning to ore production, hauling, loading and port operations.
Philippine Resources - November 27, 2022
DMCI Mining nets P1.2 billion in 9M
Photo Credit: dmcihouse.net DMCI Mining Corporation saw its net income decline by 17 percent from P1.41 billion to P1.17 billion during the first nine months of the year owing to lower nickel ore shipments and average nickel grade sold. “We expected a severe profit decline because of the depletion of our Berong mine late last year. Fortunately, the bullish nickel market allowed us to ship even the low-grade inventory of Berong,” said DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das C. Reyes. “Strong nickel prices and local currency weakness also moderated the impact of lower shipments on our bottom line,” he added. For the third quarter alone, net income tumbled by 56 percent from P181 million to P80 million due to the combined effect of lower shipment (-50%), flattish nickel grade sold (-1%), higher selling prices (+31%) and favorable average foreign exchange rates (+10%). Total shipments declined at a slower pace from January to September as the Berong mine did better than expected in the first half. Consequently, nickel ore shipments only fell by 25 percent from 1.45 million wet metric tons (WMT) to 1.09 million WMT. Despite a 4-percent decrease in average nickel grade sold from 1.38% to 1.33%, DMCI Mining posted a 16- percent improvement in nine-month average selling price from US$43 to US$50. Magnifying the impact of higher selling prices was a 10-percent increase in foreign exchange rates from US$ 1:Php 49 to US$ 1:Php 53. At the end of September, total inventory plummeted by 76 percent from 450,000 WMT to 109,000 WMT, mostly (81%) coming from Zambales. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - November 27, 2022
E-vehicle boom opens new opportunities for PH mining
Developing the electric vehicle (EV) industry is opening new opportunities for the Philippine mining sector, a company executive said Wednesday. In a media roundtable, DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das Reyes said the e-vehicle sector has provided new opportunities for the mining industry and his company is keen to take part in this development. He described that mining became a "sunset business" before the growth of the e-vehicle industry. "Prior to the EV boom, stainless steel was going nuts, and they don't have capacity already for the stainless steel market. And China is the only growth for stainless steel, all other countries in the world (are) slowing down," Reyes said. He said the growing demand for e-vehicles globally has offered a "fresh light" for the mining business. Nickel is a component for e-vehicle batteries. "Without EVs (e-vehicles), we would (have) ended so many other niche market(s). So it was a huge impact," Reyes added. In the recent foreign business missions of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the United States, South Korea and Japan, companies from these countries expressed their interest in the Philippine e-vehicle industry, including manufacturing batteries for electric cars. Part of the DTI's Make It Happen in the Philippines campaign is to attract investments for integrated mineral processing to have value-added activities in the mining industry instead of exporting minerals as raw materials. Reyes said DMCI Mining is in talks with possible foreign partners to explore opportunities for integrated mineral processing here, including Indonesian and Chinese partners, but this will require adequate infrastructure in place and support from the government. Meanwhile, DMCI Mining net income in January to September this year declined by 17 percent to PHP1.17 billion from PHP1.41 billion in the same period last year. The lower profit for the first nine months of 2022 was mainly due to decline in shipment. "Strong nickel prices and local currency weakness also moderated the impact of lower shipments on our bottom line," Reyes said. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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