In an interview, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez once again emphasized that there is a need to evaluate the impact of the Bulacan international airport to the government’s investments, particularly New Clark City which is only 65 kilometers away from the proposed airport.
AP/File
DOF favors New Clark City over Bulacan airport project
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Finance (DOF) is more inclined to prioritize the government’s New Clark City project over the Bulacan international airport proposal of San Miguel Holdings Corp. (SMHC) should the latter prove to be disadvantageous to the government’s investment in Clark.

In an interview, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez once again emphasized that there is a need to evaluate the impact of the Bulacan international airport to the government’s investments, particularly New Clark City which is only 65 kilometers away from the proposed airport.

Dominguez said the New Clark City is valued at around $14 billion. The government has committed an additional P12 billion investment to the budding metropolis.

“The value (of the property) is $14 billion. That’s the estimate of the asset value so my job is to see it increases, not decreases. Why should I put a nuclear plant there? It will go down. Those are the decisions we have to make,” he added.

However, the finance chief clarified the DOF does not dismiss the need for the government to develop other gateways, given that the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is already reaching its full capacity.

As such, he said there is a need to assess the overall impact of the Bulacan international airport to the areas near its vicinity, and determine alternatives if the project poses possible risks.

 “You have to look at the entire impact. What’s the impact on transportation, passengers? Are there alternatives where you can put (the airport) that would not affect the property? There’s so many other alternatives,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez also raised its concern on the capability of SMHC to fund the P735.63 billion Bulacan airport project, given that the company’s equity as of 2016 was recorded at only P60 billion.

Dominguez then asked San Miguel Corp. (SMC), the parent company of SMHC, to back the project by signing joint and several liability agreements with the proponent.   

In response to this, SMC said in an earlier statement it will abide with the recommendations of Dominguez.

Despite his concerns, the finance chief made it clear that the DOF is not against the Bulacan airport project, and that it did not cause any delay in the project’s approval.

 “I am not against it, but we do have questions. And if I don’t ask those questions, I’m not doing my job,” he said.

SMHC is in negotiations with the Department of Transportation for the draft concession agreement on the Bulacan airport project.

BULACAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE NEW CLARK CITY
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with