Aboitiz studying participation in Sangley

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Aboitiz Group is studying whether or not it will participate in the planned development of Sangley airport in Cavite into an international gateway given its involvement in a consortium which is also seeking to upgrade the nearby Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.

Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. chief operating officer Cosette Canilao said the group is looking at the terms and the modality of the Cavite government’s $10-billion Sangley Point International Airport project.

She said potential issues of monopoly should they join the Sangley project is also being considered.

“That’s one of the things we are looking at, what are the restrictions because we have an unsolicited proposal in NAIA,” Canilao said.

Aboitiz InfraCapital is a member of a consortium of seven conglomerates seeking to rehabilitate, operate, and expand the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Their proposal is now up for National Economic and Development Authority board approval.

“We’re looking at the structure. We’re looking at what we can and what we cannot do, given that we have this unsolicited proposal for NAIA,” she said.

Aside from being a member of the NAIA consortium, the firm has also submitted unsolicited proposals to operate and maintain the Bohol-Panglao International Airport, Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental, and most recently, the Bicol International Airport.

The provincial government of Cavite has sought the help of the private sector to transform and develop Sangley Point into a world-class international airport through a joint venture partnership scheme.

Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla in an interview late last month said some of the country’s top conglomerates have expressed interest to partner with the provincial government of Cavite for the project.

Among them are Metro Pacific group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, DMCI of the Consunji family, Ayala Corp., and the SM group.

MPIC said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange last Oct. 30 “all airport projects serving the greater National Capital Region including Sangley Airport are of interest.”

DMCI, for its part, said it is still evaluating the project and has not yet secured the bid documents.

Ayala Corp. said its real estate subsidiary, Ayala Land Inc. has made general inquiries with the Cavite local government regarding the project.

However, SM Investments Corp. said it is currently not planning to participate in the Sangley development project.

The Cavite government is giving interested parties until Nov. 11, to buy bid documents. Deadline for the submission of proposals is on Nov. 25.

The provincial government of Cavite is the lead proponent and implementing agency of the project which supports the Department of Transportation’s multi-airport strategy to decongest Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country’s main international gateway.

The 1,500-hectare master-planned international airport hub will feature four runways, airside and landside facilities, and can accommodate up to 130 million passengers annually.

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