The transportation department is giving the local government of Cavite until the end of June to formally complete its unsolicited proposal to develop the Sangley Airport into an international hub, adding that failure to meet the deadline will prompt the agency to move forward with another “option,” like considering a private sector offer for the project.
Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said he will no longer be lenient in processing the proposal of the local government unit, as it can delay the government on its target of developing more aviation hubs in the Philippines through 2022.
“I will not wait for the unsolicited proposal of the Cavite government because options will always be there. This option cannot delay what we want to have in [the] government. I’d say, middle of the year would be a reasonable time period for us to wait, otherwise, we need to decide,” he said in an interview.
The Cavite government has yet to indicate how it will fund its proposal to transform Sangley into an international airport. The national government, officials earlier said, is not keen on funding this endeavor.
Tugade said he will keep is options open for Sangley, noting that there is also an unsolicited proposal from Solar Group’s All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp.
The proposal of the Cavite government involves the development of Sangley Airport to have a total capacity of 130 million passengers per year and four runways through 2028. The P552.02-billion unsolicited offer, likewise, has a provision for the construction of mass-transit systems and new roads.
On the other hand, All-Asia Resources and Reclamation proposed to spend $12 billion to build the Philippine Sangley International Airport.
While awaiting these to develop, Tugade noted that the government is building up Sangley as an alternative airport for business jets for general aviation.
Currently, the government is building airside and landside infrastructure for the airport expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2019.
Once done, the military will transfer the operations of Sangley to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
By Lorenz S. Marasigan