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NAIA to undergo facelift for 2015 APEC meeting

The proposed design for NAIA.

MANILA, Philippines - Architectural and design firm Budji-Royal was awarded the P1.6-billion contract to redesign the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting in 2015.

Royal Pineda, Budji-Royal architectural and design firm president, told The STAR: “It’s the spirit of bayanihan at work to fix the country’s airport, dubbed in 2011 as the worst airport in Asia.” 

The team is composed of Pineda and designers Budji Layug and Kenneth Cobonpue with the Leandro V. Locsin Partners architectural firm as the “Architect of Record.”

Pineda said the team would start working on the project within the year and strive to finish it by 2015 in time for the APEC meeting.

In 2011, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) also tapped the same team for the NAIA facelift, but the project did not push through following a change in leadership at the agency.

Pineda said the airport’s new design would put emphasis on Filipino culture and the tradition of sending off and welcoming loved ones.

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The airport’s greeters’ area will be redesigned for this purpose, he added.

Pineda said the redesigning now is a more permanent effort as Manila focuses on developing two gateways – NAIA and Clark airport.

“Before, it was a temporary design but this time it’s permanent,” he said.

Secretary Ricky Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office told reporters: “Yes, there were discussions. There were discussions about three weeks ago with the different groups that have proposed to help fix and rehabilitate the NAIA 1.”

Carandang said the plan was to make NAIA 1 beautiful, if not bigger.

“My understanding is that there were talks and there is some of kind of an agreement,” he said.

“But I don’t know if that has been finalized and I do expect that DOTC will be able to make an announcement in the next several days.”

The government has set aside P2.8 billion for the rehabilitation of NAIA 1 and expects work to be finished in two years.

A government team discussed the new airport facelift with Layug, Pineda and Cobonpue in a meeting at the DOTC last May 10.

Government officials present during the meeting were Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Finance Assistant Secretary Ma. Edita Tan, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. and NAIA general manager Jose Angel Honrado.– With Aurea Calica

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