By Emmie V. Abadilla
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is balking at the inaction of the Cavite provincial government on the Sangley International Airport and plans to hand over the US$12-billion project to the private sector if nothing happens before 2018 ends.
The Sangley International Airport is supposed to be a government to government proposal and there’s also a private group proposal, “but under the rules the priority is the government,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade told reporters.
Problem is, “There’s no progress (on the Cavite government proposal since it was discussed last month,” he pointed out.
“But of course I will give them (the provincial government of Cavite) a deadline. We need to have something firmed up before the end of this year,” Tugade added.
Asked if the DOTr is open to other proposals, the Transport Secretary maintained he’s confident “once the obstacles are gone” the agency can discuss the private group proposal.
And “one of the obstacles is the proposal of the provincial government of Cavite to develop Sangley Point,” he stressed.
In fact, the legal department of DOTr issued a memorandum on June 15, this year, asking the department to refrain from signing an agreement with the Cavite provincial government on the proposed international airport.
The DOTr’s legal department cited the lack of technical and financial capability of the Cavite provincial government to implement an international airport development project.
Sangley Airport Infrastructure Group, Inc., a consortium led by Solar Group’s All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp., also submitted an unsolicited proposal to build Philippine Sangley International Airport (PSIA) for $12 billion.
The proposed regional airport hub could accommodate about 120 million passengers a year once fully developed.
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 airport infrastructure and a commercial establishment to complement the project.
The consortium proposed a concession period of 50 years. It includes the development of airside and landside facilities and transportation infrastructure to service the passengers and ensure accessibility of PSIA.
Another crucial portion of the PSIA development plan is the rehabilitation of Danilo Atienza Air Base, which will be later used as a general aviation airport to decongest Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals during the project development phase.