• Philippine Resources

SMC’s Bulacan airport project faces delay

San Miguel Corp. (SMC)’s $15-billion New Manila International Airport in Bulacan is facing another bump in the road before it can finally take off.

SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said the project’s groundbreaking scheduled this month could be postponed. “There are some issues again...groundbreaking will be delayed because it is on hold,” Ang said.

“We should break ground this December, but there are issues again but I don’t want to speak about it since the letter is not addressed to me,” he said.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the Department of Finance (DOF) is seeking clarification on certain issues involving the project.

“It’s not even a major concern. Secretary Dominguez loves the country, and we can see in the contracts that went through the finance department that it will benefit the country. He just wanted to see that what we are saying regarding ‘in favor of government’ is clear. He is not making objections,” he said.

“In other words, it’s an issue of wordings and interpretations that is why the Department of Justice (DOJ) is included in the review. So these are the MAGA (material adverse government action) and cap on liability. Liability issue is in relation to the performance and deliverables,” Tugade said.

Tugade said the clarificatory issues that were raised have been forwarded to the DOJ, which will come out with one final position before the construction of the project can proceed.

“If I were to choose, I really want the groundbreaking to push through before the end of the year just as long as there will be a final confirmation. So we have to wait for the comments and position of the DOJ,” he said. 

“I would like to emphasize again that there is no objection. A clarification is just being sought and it is just right that it be clarified because it is for the benefit of the country,” the transport chief said.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and SMC signed last Sept. 18 the concession agreement for the development of the Bulacan international airport, allowing the project envisioned to solve Metro Manila’s worsening air traffic congestion to finally take-off.

A notice to proceed was also signed on the same day which gave SMC the greenlight to start with the project’s construction anytime.

The new airport, which will be built on a 2,400-hectare property in Bulakan, Bulacan, will have four runways, eight taxiways and three terminals. It will be able to handle up to 100 million passengers per year once fully completed in five years’ time.

SMC will undertake the financing, design, construction, supply, completion, testing, commissioning, and operation and maintenance of the new international gateway, which is expected to ease congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country’s main international gateway.

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/business/2019/12/03/1973685/smcs-bulacan-airport-project-faces-delay#c3bOLvfZAGDQLvPV.99


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