The Senate Committee on Public Services has endorsed the plenary approval of the bill that will allow the construction of the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan.
Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Public Services panel, sponsored on Tuesday the bill containing franchise application of the San Miguel Aerocity Inc., which will build and operate the 2500-hectare domestic and international airport. The company is a subsidiary of the San Miguel Corporation.
Poe said building a new airport “is not just about the future” but is also “an obligation past due” citing the congested and overloaded Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
NAIA, she said, has exceeded its maximum passenger capacity of 35 million yearly, to 47.8 million in 2019.
“Like the public transport crawling on its congested streets, Manila’s airport is now full and overloaded. Walled in by homes, factories, and offices, the NAIA has no room for expansion. It has been likened to an aircraft carrier stuck on dry land and nowhere to go,” she said in her sponsorship speech.
Poe said the Manila International Airport is expected to generate the much-needed employment for local residents and returning overseas Filipino workers, as SMC had committed. The residents of Taliptip where the airport will be built will be trained by TESDA for skills specific to the needs of the construction.
She also cited the airport’s possible contribution to tourism.
The construction of the airport shall begin within a year of the franchise grant and will be completed in 12 years at no cost to the government.
After the 50-year lifetime of the franchise, the airport will be turned over to the government, again, at no cost, Poe said.
During its 10-year construction period, San Miguel Aerocity will be exempt from all direct and indirect taxes and fees.
“After the construction period and during the remaining 40 years of its franchise, it shall be exempt only from income and property taxes until it has recouped its investments. After which, it shall be subjected to all taxes from thereon,” she added.
The bill said that aside from taxes post-recovery of investment, the government also stands to share in its revenues in excess of its profit margin of 12 percent.
Poe also sponsored the franchise renewal of 10 other companies: Bayan Telecommunications Inc., Cruz Telephone Company , Tandag Electric and Telephone Company Inc., FBS Radio Network Inc., Century Communications Marketing Center Inc., Caceres Broadcasting Corp., Negros Broadcasting and Publishing Corp., Philippine Collective Media Corp., Davao Light and Power Company, and Metro Manila Turf Club Inc.