SMC’S P700B Bulacan airport proposal gets original proponent status
Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. obtained the key original proponent status in its bid to build a new international gateway that will eventually replace Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
SMC submitted in February an unsolicited proposal to the Department of Transportation to construct a P700 billion airport in a 2,500 hectare property in Bulacan province without any guarantee or subsidy from the government.
“A formal proposal was submitted to us and we have gone over the proposal, and by end of last week, we had forwarded the proposal to NEDA [National Economic and Development Authority] for final evaluation,” Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said during an aviation forum in Makati.
“Once approved by the NEDA, it will be subject to a Swiss challenge,” Tugade added.
An original proponent status gives a company an advantage in a competitive bidding process should the project be auctioned off under a Swiss challenge, a system that has been successfully implemented in several countries to ensure a transparent regulatory framework and level playing field for all private parties.
The Swiss challenge method allows third parties to make better offers. The original proponent must match the best bid to win the project.
The proposed airport will initially have four runways with a length of 3.5 km and width of 600m that can accommodate 50 million to 100 million passengers upon its completion in five years. It can be expanded to six runways and service as much as 150 million passengers.
An alternative airport will help further boost the country’s tourism industry, which accounted for six percent of the economy last year.