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SMC working quietly on Bulacan airport – Tugade

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star
SMC working quietly on Bulacan airport â Tugade
“Even though there is no groundbreaking, Mr. (Ramon) Ang is quietly clearing. He is quietly doing dredging and moving out, and acquiring right-of-way,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
Geremy Pintolo, file

MANILA, Philippines — Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. is doing preparatory work for the Manila International Airport project in Bulacan in line with the massive project’s expected groundbreaking in the next two months, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said before the weekend.

“Even though there is no groundbreaking, Mr. (Ramon) Ang is quietly clearing. He is quietly doing dredging and moving out, and acquiring right-of-way,” Tugade said.

“At the same time, while Mr. Ramon Ang does all these things, in the quiet of his part, he is arranging the financing,” the transport chief said.

The much-awaited P740-billion international airport project was targeted to break ground in December 2019.

Tugade earlier said a formal inauguration of the project would take place by April or May this year, but it did not push through.

“When will the groundbreaking take place? I also want to push for it. But what’s important is we know that San Miguel and Ramon Ang are doing something,” he said. “I don’t have any reason to doubt that the groundbreaking will be undertaken in next 45 to 60 days.”

Royal Boskalis Westminster NV, through its wholly owned subsidiary Boskalis Philippines Inc., was tapped by SMC to do land development works for the airport project.

The airport will initially feature four parallel runways with provision for two more, a world-class terminal and infrastructure network that will include a mass rail system to ensure easy connectivity.

It is seen to create about 30 million tourism-related jobs and generate more than a million direct jobs for host province Bulacan and nearby provinces.

Tugade said a slew of airport projects are also lined up for inauguration by the agency in the next two to three months.

Among these is the new terminal of the Clark International Airport managed and operated by the Luzon International Premier Airport Development Corp., which will be inaugurated next month.

Other projects scheduled for inauguration soon are those for the Catarman Airport, Butuan Airport, Busuanga Airport, Zamboanga Airport, Siquijor Airport, General Santos Airport and the new Bicol International Airport.

For rail projects, meanwhile, the DOTr is set to inaugurate the LRT-2 East Extension project on June 22. The project, which will extend the rail line up to Marikina and Antipolo, will be fully operational the following day, according to Tugade.

Partial operability of the Common Station, a 13,700-square meter concourse area which will seamlessly interconnect the rail lines of LRT-1, MRT-3, MRT-7 and the Metro Manila Subway, is eyed before the end of the year.

The Metro Manila Subway project, meanwhile, is eyed to be partially operable in Valenzuela by the first quarter of next year.

ARTHUR TUGADE

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