Sen. Poe upbeat on proposed new Manila int’l airport in Bulacan

Published January 5, 2021, 3:50 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday said she is confident that San Miguel Corporation (SMC), the proponent of the new Manila international airport project in Bulacan, would hit the ground running so that the country could begin its countdown to the 10-year construction period of the brand-new international hub, at no cost to the government.

Senator Grace Poe (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

After the expiration of the 50-year franchise, the ownership of the airport will be turned over to government – again, free of cost.

The go-signal for SMC to start constructing a domestic and international airport came after Malacanang allowed a bill to lapse into law (Republic Act 11506) on December 20. The law gave SMC the franchise.

When it has been determined that the developer has fully recovered its investment even during the period of the franchise, the government shall be entitled to the amount in excess of the internal rate of return of 12 percent per annum.

‘’Coming at a time when the economy is badly impaired by the COVID-19 pandemic, we see the potential of this project in generating local jobs and drawing the interest of investors,’’ Poe, chairwoman of the Senate public service committee, said.

The new airport will take the pressure off the often notoriously-packed NAIA terminals and improve the country’s accessibility to tourists and locals alike who can now explore the archipelago with much ease.

‘’We are building this airport not just for the present, but for the future – to carry passengers who haven’t been born, to handle planes yet to be built, to keep up with the increasing need for air connectivity,’’ Poe pointed out.

‘’We trust the grantee of this franchise will go above and beyond in terms of servicing the public, as we keep a close watch on the development of this project,’’ she added.