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DOTr prefers Cavite LGU for Sangley airport project

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By Emmie V. Abadilla

The proposal of the Cavite local government unit to develop Sangley Point into an international airport remains a priority over private sector proponents, Transportation Secretary Athur Tugade declared even as the deadline for the local government unit (LGU) to iron out its financing woes has already lapsed.

DOTr  Secretary Arthur Tugade (Photo by Ali Vicoy)

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade (Photo by Ali Vicoy)

“The government to government proposal is the priority. Only if it doesn’t push through can the private proposal proceed,” Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade stressed during a round table conference at the Manila Bulletin headquarters in Intramuros, Manila.

This developed even after DOTr’s original deadline for the resolution of the Cavite LGU’s issues has lapsed. In March, Tugade gave the LGU until mid-2019 to iron out its project financing problems.

Another private proponent, Solar Group’s All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp. (AARC) also submitted a separate unsolicited proposal to build the Philippine Sangley International Airport for $12 billion.

Tugade said AARC is still an option, but only if the government to government proposal is scrapped, he noted.

The Cavite local government is still in discussion with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), trying to resolve the issues on the former’s over P500-billion unsolicited proposal to develop an international airport in Sangley Point.

It could be recalled that NEDA returned the Cavite LGU’s unsolicited proposal for the Sangley Point international airport over alleged unclear implementing arrangements for the project. The LGU planned to float P200 billion worth of bonds to build the airport.

Former Cavite Governor Jesus Crispin “Boying” Catibayan Remulla, who initiated the project proposal, earlier said they may not be able to beat the June 2019 deadline to submit a revised unsolicited proposal. The LGU said they plan to raise P200 billion through a bond float. They are also looking at forging a local consortium for the project.

Remulla, however, is no longer governor of Cavite he was succeeded by his brother, Jonvic Remulla as Cavite governor, who also committed to “definitely push through the Sangley airport project.”

The Cavite provincial government submitted the full feasibility study for the project to NEDA on Dec. 17, 2018.

Based on its study, Phase 1 of the proposed Sangley International Airport can initially accommodate 50 million passengers and is expected to cost more than P500 billion.

The airport will be expanded in phases with the aim of having 4 runways and annual capacity of 135 million passengers.

The Sangley International Airport is also envisioned to have a connecting bridge that will cut travel time between Sangley and Makati by 30 minutes.
The airport will be expanded in phases with the aim of having 4 runways and annual capacity of 135 million passengers.

The Sangley International Airport is also envisioned to have a connecting bridge that will cut travel time between Sangley and Makati by 30 minutes.
Meantime, ARRC’s development plan includes the rehabilitation of Danilo Atienza Air Base which will be later used as a general aviation airport to decongest NAIA terminals during the project development phase.

ARRC proposed a concession period of 50 years for the Sangley International Airport. Under the proposal, the project will start with the reclamation of about 2,500 hectares of land north of the Sangley peninsula which will be used for the development of the airport infrastructure and a commercial establishment to complement the project.

Sangley airport would be designed with two parallel runways and sufficient airside and terminal capacity to accommodate future demand for the domestic and the international traffic, not only for the Philippines but also for Southeast Asia.

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