Piatco still hopes to be a part of NAIA 3
() - July 1, 2003 - 12:00am
An official of the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. hopes that the Piatco-led consortium would remain part of the operations of the controversial Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA 3) when it opens in a few months.

"I am hopeful that the consortium will still be part of NAIA 3," Jeffrey Cheng said during the blessing of the office of the Aviation Services Training Institute Inc. (ASTI) at the International Container Terminal.

Cheng said they are still awaiting the the final decision of the Supreme Court on the validity of the contract between Piatco and the government.

Edgardo Manda, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager, said yesterday the access road and other amenities at NAIA 3 can be completed and the terminal operational in less than six months, without benefit of loans or borrowings.

The government is also waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision, he added.

Manda said MIAA will collect P3 billion, excluding interests from concessionaires and other tenants of NAIA, which have not been paid since he assumed office in 2001.

"If we can only collect this, then initial funding to complete Terminal 3 will not be a problem," he said.

Manda said the P3 billion was uncovered during a financial audit done as soon as he assumed office as MIAA general manager.

The amount, due from rentals of some airline companies, tenants and various concessionaires, had not been moving long before he took over, he added.

Manda said construction of the 2.7-km. access road had been previously estimated at $2.5 million or around P135 million. The former plan was a 500-meter tunnel to connect the two airport terminals and that the second project was estimated at P800 million or almost 600 percent more expensive than the access road.

In making NAIA 3 ready for passenger traffic, $170 million is needed, with $70 million earmarked for the Takenaka group, the Japanese consultant for quality assurance services, he added.

Manda said the $170 million will also cover communications equipment, power connections, security systems, water drainage and other vital facilities.

The contract with the government pegged the original NAIA 3 project cost at less than $300 million, he added.

Manda said that as soon as the Supreme Court ruling is out, they will "roll up our sleeves and leave politics behind," and start work

"We believe that once Terminal 3 is operational, the service MIAA will be giving will be at par if not a cut above the rest," he said.

Before the Supreme Court voided the Piatco contract, the amount of claims ballooned to more that $500 million, he added.

Manda said he hopes all concerned government and allied agencies will be supportive of this move to move forward in making NAIA 3 a showcase of Philippine hospitality. – Sandy Araneta

AVIATION SERVICES TRAINING INSTITUTE INC BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT EDGARDO MANDA INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER TERMINAL JEFFREY CHENG MANDA MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY MILLION PIATCO SUPREME COURT
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