Mar, airport officials to finalize terminal expansion plansBy Edison de los Angeles, Jhunnex Napallacan
Cebu Daily News
TRANSPORTATION and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas will meet with general manager Paul Villarete of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to finalize the arrangements for implementing the airport’s terminal expansion project.
‘We are glad that the President mentioned it in his annual address. The passenger terminal building project becomes inevitable and it now comes to reality,” Villarete told Cebu Daily News.
Villarete said the project’s feasibility study was submitted to the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) last Nov. 2011 for inclusion in the private-public partnership (PPP) projects of the government.
Villarete also stated in the MCIA’s Facebook account that the airport needs improvements after it registered a 6.2 million passenger arrivals last year.
He said they expect to breach the seven million mark this year.
“Admittedly, the present and expected number of passengers using the airport is both heartening and daunting considering that our existing terminal was originally designed in 1995 for P4.5 million a year,” Villarete said in his Facebook post.
Under the original proposal, the project has a tentative cost of P5.8 billion and will be built under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) mode.
“The 5.8 billion is a tentative figure, it could be more or less,” Villarete said.
Villarete said DOTC asked the National Economic Development Authority’s (NEDA) PPP Center to tap a transaction advisory service to review the project and propose a business model for the project.
An India-based transaction advisory services firm recommended for total operational management of the airport under the private investor.
Barring legal obstacles, Villarete said the project will be submitted to NEDA next month for approval.
Villarete said they have to also find out if the firm’s recommendation is legal since it will affect 580 airport employees.
“We have to ensure the welfare of the employees so they won’t be deprived of their benefits,” he said.
He said Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza assured them that they will issue a certification for the project.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said President Aquino’s plan to improve the Mactan Cebu airport and develop a new airport in Panglao town in Bohol province would further boost Cebu’s economy and tourism.
Rama said the Panglao airport will give visiting businessmen and tourists an alternative gateway.
“If there are problems with the MCIA runway, tourists could land in Bohol and just take a two-hours ferry ride to Cebu City,” he said.
Former Bohol governor Erico Aumentado proposed for the airport in Panglao which was endorsed for funding by the Regional Development Council.
New Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto said revisions will be made on the airport design.
Rama said the airport project will complement his proposal for a bridge that will connect Cebu City to Shell Island in Cordova town and a second bridge from Cordova town to Bohol province.