Gwen: Mactan-Cebu airport is not for saleBy Carmel Loise Matus, Jessa J. Agua
Cebu Daily News
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said partnership with the private sector is welcome in the expansion of the Mactan international airport, but not selling it.
This was her response to the proposal of PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan to “privatize” the Mactan airport as an essential step to develop Cebu as an international hub for travel and tourism.
Pangilinan’s suggestion, first privately discussed with Governor Garcia in Manila in May, was revealed in detail during a roundtable discussion with editors of community papers Thursday evening after the PLDT annual stockholders meeting.
Sought for reaction, Garcia said any expansion of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) should be done within the framework of the government’s Public-Private Partnership program (PPP) because the government-owned facility is not for sale.
Airport officials agree.
“Pure privatization may not happen,” said MCIA general manager Nigel Paul Villarete.
He said Pangilinan’s statement “is not only reflective of the airport but the region’s viability as well. This means Cebu is growing fastest as a tourism destination.”
Governor Garcia said a distinction must be made because privatization is to sell to the private sector.
“In the case of MCIA, we are already starting the process to offer this to the private sector for PPP,” she told reporters.
The passenger terminal building is one of 22 recently approved PPP projects along with the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Demonstration Project.