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Lapu lands airport board seat

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Lapu-Lapu City secured a seat in the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) board after the Senate voted 17-0 to amend the airport’s charter last Tuesday.

Lapu-Lapu City Rep. Arturo Radaza made the announcement during the Christmas party for the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) at the Lapu-Lapu City Hoops Dome last Dec. 21.

“My constant follow-ups in the Senate for House Bill no. 6305 (amending the MCIA charter) paid off. They probably felt sorry for me having difficulty attending the Senate sessions,” the congressman said.

The congressman sustained a leg injury in a vehicular accident years ago.

The inclusion of Lapu-Lapu City in the MCIA board occurred amid the government’s announcement to open the bidding for the MCIA’s P20 billion passenger terminal.

Even if the bill had yet to be signed by President Benigno Aquino III, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said she and her husband were confident that it will be good as approved.

The mayor said her administration will pursue the city’s claim on the P1.5 billion in unpaid taxes by the airport since 1999. The MCIA said it is covered by tax exemption based on its charter.

The MCIA said it will do so if the Supreme Court rules against them.

“We’re not demanding that the airport pay for the whole amount, just a portion so we can build classrooms,” Mayor Radaza said.

Last Friday, the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Center announced that it has published the invitation for bids for the US $504.8 million or P20 billion passenger terminal of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

The winning bidder for this build-operate-transfer (BOT) project that is part of the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme of the Aquino government will be granted a 20-year concession.

The proposed new passenger terminal building will have an annual capacity of 8 million passengers a year and is projected to minimize passenger delay by reducing passenger terminal waiting time.

The airport facility is the second largest major international airport in the Philippines and serves as the gateway for 5.7 million passengers every year, representing 14 percent of the country’s overall passenger traffic.

The airport currently serves as a gateway to tourism destinations around the Visayas.

Last year, the airport served as gateway to 1.6 million tourists. Various business groups have expressed interest in bidding for the project.

The list includes the strategic alliance of diversified conglomerates Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures. They are backed by ADC & HAS Airports, Inc, a global player in airport development.

The country’s biggest business group, San Miguel Corp., is also eyeing the project.

Early this year, the Gokongwei group which operates budget airline Cebu Pacific  also expressed interest.

The infrastructure group of businessman Manuel Pangilinan are likewise interested in the project. With Rappler.com


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