P500B Sangley project hangs

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    The implementation of the Cavite government’s P500-billion Sangley Airport Development Project is moved to next year or until travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic between China and the Philippines are eased.

    The local government of Cavite has granted the request of the consortium of Lucio Tan’s MacroAsia Corp. and China Communications Constructions Co. Ltd. to extend the deadline for the submission of post- qualification documents.

    Jesse Grepo, legal officer of the public-private partnership selection committee, said the consortium was given an extension of 90 days from the time air travel between China and the Philippines resumes.

    The consortium submitted some of the requirements before the deadline last September 12, but the financial and legal documents were incomplete.

    “The Consortium was able to make partial submission of documents, as required per Notice of Award. However, considering the continuing adverse impact of COVID-19 and in the exigency of service, the request for extension of 90 days immediately after air travel resumes between China and Philippines to comply with all the conditions of the Notice of Award is granted,” Grepo said in a mobile message.

    Grepo added the extension is granted subject to the firm commitment of the consortium to fully comply with the requirements on or before the new deadline.

    At present, commercial flights between China and the Philippines are still suspended and there is no announcement yet when these will resume.

    Initially, the Sangley airport project was targeted to start construction this year, but with the pandemic and lockdowns, the deadline for submission of the post requirements originally set March this year and moved to June and later to September 12.

    Despite the pandemic, Malacanang gave its go- signal to proceed with the project.

    The construction of Sangley Point International Airport (SPIA) in Cavite involves massive reclamation in the southern part of Manila Bay.

    The provincial government of Cavite, as lead proponent of the SPIA project, planned to conduct the groundbreaking for the P208.5-billion phase 1 of the project after the notice of award is issued to the proponent. The consortium then has 12 to 18 months to complete the detailed engineering design, leading to the project’s financial closure.

    Phase 1 of SPIA will include the new Sangley connector road and bridge, a six-lane highway with urban mass transit connectivity directly linking the Kawit interchange of Manila-Cavite expressway to SPIA.

    Phase 1 involves the development of an interim first runway that is designed to operate alongside Ninoy Aquino International Airport, with an annual design capacity for 25 million passengers annually.

    The second phase of the SPIA involves the development of a second runway, with an annual design capacity of 75 million passengers.