Airport terminal project hits snag
(The Freeman) - December 17, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The GMR-Megawide consortium, which won the bidding to improve and manage the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, cannot start yet the construction of the facility’s Terminal 2 early next year.

Megawide chief marketing officer Louie Ferrer yesterday said this is due to the delay in the implementation of the Department of Transportation and Communications’ P800-million replication project of the Philippine Air Force facilities at the near by Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base.

Ferrer said finishing the construction of Terminal 2 is hugely dependent on the PAF replication project, as the PAF facilities may only be moved from the area where part of Terminal 2 will rise when its (PAF) relocation site is ready.

It was the intention of Megawide, which is part of the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), to participate in the bidding of the PAF replication project to fast-track the removal of the airbase facilities, but it was disqualified by the DOTC-Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority.

“We are honoring their decision.  ‘Yong request lang namin sa kanila is to make sure this will be delivered—the PAF be relocated as soon as possible para we can start the project (construction of Terminal 2),” Ferrer said.

Per concession agreement, it is the responsibility of DOTC-MCIAA to remove the PAF facilities within the year so Megawide can start the construction of Terminal 2 early next year.

The DOTC has yet to award the PAF replication project to a contractor.

Ferrer said that the delay could affect them but at the end of the day it is the Cebuanos who would suffer.

In December 2013, the consortium of GMR Infrastructure and Megawide Construction Corp. of Philippines emerged as the highest bidder after offering a bid premium of P14.4 billion for the management and development of MCIA.

Under a 25-year concession agreement, GMR-Megawide will build a new, world-class international passenger terminal building, whose construction would begin in 2015 so it would be ready for use in 2018.

“There will be an impact on the time and cost as the project has been planned for implementation based on a timetable to start construction in February 2015,” Megawide said in a press statement.

“Resources have already been panned and any changes in schedule on this implementation will lead to time and cost delay which can only be quantified once the extent of delay is known,” it added.

Meanwhile, Latvian Consul General Robert Lim Joseph, a pillar in the travel and tourism industry of the country, criticized DOTC and MCIAA for doing nothing on the concession agreement.

During the 888 News Forum at the Marco Polo Plaza yesterday, Joseph asked why DOTC did not spend the P14.4 billion GMR-Megawide paid in winning the bidding to replace to already move the PAF facility to another place.

“We need the airport, we want to come up with the best airport in the Philippines as promised and now the DOTC is not doing anything, the airport authority in Cebu is not doing anything,” said Joseph.

Joseph also criticized DOTC and MCIAA for getting the bigger share in the new airport terminal fees compared to that of GMCAC.

“This is where we could say that we should come up with an NGO to audit the expenses by the airport authorities so that we want to see that these expenses are really brought to good use,” he said. – /RHM (FREEMAN)

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