Sun Star Cebu, 13 October 2014

By Elias O. Baquero

PASSENGERS leaving on international flights from Mactan will have to pay an additional P200 starting on Nov. 1, 2014. For domestic passengers, only one-fifth of the proposed increase will be imposed right away.

The Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) Board approved the new rates during its meeting last Friday in Manila.
The new passenger service charge (PSC), more commonly known as the terminal fee, will be P750 for international passengers, from the present P550.

For domestic passengers, the rate will be P220 starting on Nov. 1, 2014, from the present P200.

But it will go up to P300, as originally approved by the MCIAA board about three months ago, starting on Jan. 1, 2016.

MCIAA Board Member Pericles Dakay said their meeting was presided by Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Undersecretary Jojo Lotilla.

Airport General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete declined to give details on the approval of the PSC increase, but promised to issue an official statement about it today.

Private takeover on Nov. 1, 2014, too

The increase in the PSC fees will coincide with the takeover by GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. of the domestic and international terminal operations in Mactan.

Of the P750 charge for international passengers, P181 or less than 25 percent will go to GMR-Megawide. The bulk of it will go to MCIAA, aviation security, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the airline companies that collect the PSC by integrating it in the airline ticket’s price.

In an earlier interview, Villarete said the increase in PSC fees is embedded in the 25-year contract DOTC issued to GMR-Megawide, which won the bidding for the privatization of airport services.

GMR-Megawide has already deposited the required P14.4 billion with MCIAA and will bear
the cost of building the second terminal, estimated at P17.5 billion.

The MCIAA Board met two days after the second public hearing on the PSC increase last Oct. 8.

What about using the P14.4B?: councilor

In the public hearing, Villatete explained that the increase will also cover the projected P1-billion decrease in MCIAA’s revenue, as a result of the transfer of landside terminal operations to GMR-Megawide next month.

Villarete said the soon-to-be privatized operations represent about five percent of the entire MCIAA operations, including the maintenance of its runway, taxiway, tarmac and general aviation, among others.

Various stakeholders who participated in the public hearing opposed the increase and instead proposed that the MCIAA retain the P14.4 billion deposited by GMR-Megawide.