The Transportation Department’s legal department thumbed down an earlier agreement between the agency and the Cavite provincial government to develop Sangley Point into an international airport for P552.018 billion.
The agency’s Office of the Undersecretary for Legal Affairs and Procurement, along with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs and the Legal Service, issued a memorandum on June 15 asking the department to refrain from signing an agreement with the Cavite provincial government on the proposed international airport.
The memo was in response to the request of Transportation Undersecretary for planning and project development Ruben Reinoso Jr. for a legal opinion of the proposed memorandum of agreement for the project.
The DOTr memorandum was signed by Transportation Undersecretary for legal affairs and procurement Reinier Paul Yebra, assistant secretary for legal affairs Mark Steven Pastor and assistant secretary for procurement and chief of the DOTr legal service Giovanni Lopez.
The DOTr legal experts cited the lack of technical capability of the Cavite provincial government to implement an international airport development project in rejecting the proposal.
Based on the draft memorandum of agreement, the Sangley Point International Airport Project involves the planning, financing, design, construction, development, operation, maintenance and management of the new international airport in Sangley Point, Cavite City.
It also includes all supporting road networks, infrastructure facilities and basic services with land reclamation as the physical development platform or enabling component.
The memo also noted that the Cavite provincial government had not identified the financing scheme for the more than half-a-trillion peso project.
“This office is of the view that PGC [provincial government of Cavite] lacks the technical capability to implement the proposed Sangley International Airport Project. As a matter of fact, the MOA itself is bereft of any provision or proof showing the technical capability of PGC,” the two-page memorandum stated.
“Likewise, this office noted the provision in the MOA relative to the proposed project’s financing scheme. It appears that the MOA has not yet identified with particularity the source of fund for the project,” it said.
“This office is of the opinion that the above description of the proposed project as well as the financing scheme is too general. Specific scope of the project and source of fund are required for this department to evaluate the MOA,” it said.
Reinoso said on July 28 the DOTr approved the Cavite provincial government’s proposal which allowed the latter to take the next step to secure an endorsement of the Philippine Reclamation Authority for the reclamation work.
The proposed Sangley International Airport would compete with the proposed rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City, the proposed Bulacan International Aiport in Bulacan province and the expansion of Clark International Airport in Pampanga province.
Transportation Undersecretary for aviation and airports Manuel Antonio earlier told reporters the Manila International Airport Authority board granted the original proponent status to the “super consortium” of seven conglomerates to rehabilitate Naia.
The “super consortium” is composed of some of the country’s biggest conglomerates including Abotiiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp of the Ayala group, Alliance Global Group of taipan Andrew Tan, Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp. of taipan Lucio Tan, Filinvest Development Corp. of George Ty, JG Summit Holdings Inc. of taipan John Gokongwei and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. of Manuel Pangilinan.
Tamayo said the DOTr granted the OPS to the “super consortium” in July, but the MIAA board’s approval was also required, as the latter would be the lead agency.
He said with the grant of the OPS, the National Economic and Development Authority could now proceed with the evaluation of the Naia rehabilitation proposal.