By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
A proposal to upgrade the existing Subic Bay International Airport Metropolitan Authority to world-class status and as alternative to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is being reviewed as part of the infrastructure projects being eyed for further development in Central Luzon.
The upgrading of Subic International Airport is among the projects being reviewed by Mahanakorn Partners Group (MPG), the parent company of Vimami Co. Ltd., a Swiss-Thai German-speaking law firm.
The MPG signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority in February this year to conduct feasibility studies on the viability of infrastructure projects for construction inside this premier Freeport.
The MOU signed between MPG and SBMA covers the proposed upgrading of the existing Subic Bay International Airport to world-class status, making it a viable alternative to the heavily congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport, as well as a strategic transshipment and logistics hub in the Asian region.
As proponent of the Regional Investment and Commercial Hub (RICH) Road Map, Senator Richard Gordon recently met with the Mahanakorn Partners Group (MPG) chair Luca Bernardinetti to review the proposals to transform Central Luzon into the country’s leading business center.
According to a statement, RICH under Senate Bill 1325 authored by Gordon seeks to open investment in the vast but idle lands along the expressways, like industrial sites, freeports, tourism enterprises, and other establishments that will generate employment for Filipinos.
The bill intends to create an investment super corridor that would spur development in the region.
By coordinating all infrastructure projects near airports, seaports, freeports, and tourist establishments in the region, the bill also seeks to achieve President Rodrigo Duterte’s vision of bringing economic development to the region as well as decongesting the ports of Manila and reducing traffic congestion in the metropolis.
Prior to his initial term as Philippine Senator, Gordon pushed for the creation of the SBMA and became its founding chairman, transforming it into the most successful base conversion recognized by international media, generating over 200,000 jobs on the back of over $3 billion in investments.