Go co-sponsors bill granting franchise to Bulacan airport operator San Miguel Aerocity Inc.

Published October 1, 2020, 12:15 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has co-sponsored House Bill No. 7507 granting San Miguel Aerocity Inc. a franchise to construct, develop, establish, operate, and maintain a domestic and international airport and its adjacent airport city in Bulakan, Bulacan.

Sen. Bong Go (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

During the Senate regular session Thursday, Go reiterated that the construction of the new airport will help decongest Metro Manila’s traffic and provide employment to Filipino people, especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This project is a prime example of how the public and private sectors can work hand in hand in building a better future for our people,” Go said in his manifestation of support for San Miguel’s efforts.

“Like I said, this will go a long way towards providing jobs and other economic opportunities outside Metro Manila, and will help decongest our urban areas. Napakarami pong matutulungan ng pagtayo ng airport na ito (Many will benefit from the establishment of this airport),” he added.

He also emphasized that the construction of the new airport will also complement the ”Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa” program, which aims to encourage Metro Manila residents to explore better economic opportunities and start anew in their home provinces.

“The establishment of this airport will help us realize these goals,” he added.

Go reminded proponents of the project to ensure that laws, rules, and regulations related to the construction of the new airport in Bulacan should be observed and followed.

“Dinidiin ko lamang po na dapat ma-obserbahan at masunod ang mga batas, rules, and regulations when it comes to the environment, labor, and all other pertinent laws (Laws, rules, and regulations when it comes to environment, labor, and all other pertinent laws must be followed),” he said.

Go commended the main sponsor, Sen. Grace Poe, for her commitment to these measures and expressed that he will help coordinate with executive agencies to ensure that the objectives of the project is realized in accordance with existing laws and regulations.

“Your request is duly noted, madame sponsor, and we will do what we can do to support you in achieving these objectives. Having said that, I wish to convey my intention to co-sponsor this measure,” he said.

Among the co-sponsors of the bill is Sen. Richard J. Gordon.

Gordon stressed the need to expedite the airport to make the country more attractive to investors.

He said that with the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport project is expected to further stimulate the mad rush to grab investments going out of China.

“I strongly support this new airport that is solely going to be built by San Miguel Corp. (SMC) without any money being put in by the government. This idea is something that has to be undertaken real, real fast because after COVID there would be a mad rush for investments and we have to make our country look very, very good. This is really a game-changer. Central Luzon will be a game-changer. We can now make a tremendous leap-frog into the world of competitiveness,” he said in his co-sponsorship speech for Senate Bill 1823 under Committee Report No. 128 which proposes to grant San Miguel Aerocity Inc. the franchise for the airport.

Gordon pointed out that with China dislodged as the manufacturing hub with giant firms like LG, Panasonic, and Samsung, among others, going to Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, the prospect of a very major international airport, with all the other airports and seaports, would certainly make the Philippines attractive to the people who are now changing the paradigm.

“With the promise of this major airport, it is going to be a big selling point. Apart from the strategic location of our country vis-à-vis Asia, away from the mainland like England is to Europe, away from the battles and wars going in the mainland, I think this would be very, very good for our country. If we get that airport here, I’m sure not only FedEx will come here but all the airplanes. When this airport opens, it will attract other industries,” he said.