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Cebu News

Tourism exec trusts Mactan airport winning bidder

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines -  A tourism executive believes in the capability of GMR-Megawide Consortium to undertake the Mactan-Cebu International Airport expansion project.

Consul Robert Lim Joseph, chairman emeritus of the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies, welcomed the result of the bidding process.

“I think the GMR has a play-date to go through, they are very responsible people, we are very happy,” said Joseph.

Joseph is also involved in various tourism groups like the Tourism Educators and Movers, Travel Cooperative of the Philippines, Tourism Committee of the Rotary Club of Manila, Tourism Watch and the League of Tourism Students.

Joseph admired the consortium for tapping world-renowned Cebuano designer Kenneth Cobonpue to take charge of the project design.

“Come up with something that Cebu will be proud of that airport. After they do that, then we come in again. Are they doing right?” he said.

Joseph warned that “they will be in the forefront” should GMR-Megawide does something wrong.

Following several months of reviewing various legal questions raised by a bidder in connection with the MCIA project, the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority awarded the 25-year concession to the GMR-Megawide Consortium on April 4.

“Amidst all the noise drummed up in different forums the past few months, the DOTC has allowed nothing but the law and the country’s interests to matter in awarding the project. Finally, Cebuanos will soon get the world-class airport they deserve – one that will not only boost the province’s economy and tourism industry, but the whole country’s as well,” said DOTC spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal in a statement.

“This project should have been done at least a decade ago, so there is no more time to waste. We have resolved all issues, we are ready to defend our decision, and it is now time to push forward on Daang Matuwid by delivering our services to the people,” Sagcal added.

GMR-Megawide Consortium proposed to undertake the project, which entails renovating the existing passenger terminal building, building a new one to serve international flights, and operating the airport, at a premium of P14.4 billion. Its offer bested those of six other consortiums.

GMR-Megawide will now have 20 days to complete the post-award requirements, such as the submission of an irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of P180 million, and the payment of the premium amount to government through the MCIAA.

Once the requirements are satisfied, the concession agreement will be signed by the parties, paving the way for the implementation of the project over the next three to four years.  (FREEMAN)

CONSUL ROBERT LIM JOSEPH DAANG MATUWID DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS AND THE MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY KENNETH COBONPUE MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT MEGAWIDE MEGAWIDE CONSORTIUM MICHAEL ARTHUR SAGCAL NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT TRAVEL AGENCIES PROJECT
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