Cavite ready to scrap airport deal with US-banned Chinese developer


The Cavite provincial government is willing to cancel its contract with the joint venture that will develop and operate Sangley Point International Airport (SPIA) if the national government determines the agreement poses a security risk, according to Cavite governor Jonvic Remulla.

The China Communications Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC), which teamed up with MacroAsia Corp. for the project, is one of 24 Chinese state-owned companies recently blacklisted by the United States for allegedly enabling China to reclaim and militarize disputed outposts in the South China Sea.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. suggested to concerned government agencies the termination of contracts with these companies. Prior to this, CCCC and its subsidiaries were banned by the World Bank from joining its projects from 2011 to 2017 due to fraudulent practices, according to several reports.

“The joint venture between CCCC and MacroAsia is about to be completed. It’s not perfected yet. Their boards have to approve it and it should be done maybe in a month,” Remulla said in an interview with the ABS-CBN News Channel.

“But it’s a national security issue. If the President says, if the Department of National Defense (DND) says that it’s a security risk to enter into an agreement with them, then we will cease, terminate the agreements immediately,” Remulla added.

He said they will let the national government “chime in on it and have their own risk assessment of what’s going on.”

“We want to build an airport, we found a partner; it seems that they are involved in the South China Sea issue, but I will leave it up to the Department of National Defense. I will leave it to the Office of the President to guide us on how we should pursue this,” Remulla said.

The Cavite government last February awarded the P208.5-billion contract to develop and implement Phase 1 of SPIA. The tandem of MacroAsia and CCCC was the sole bidder of the project to develop a 1,500-hectare international airport.

READ: Sole bidder awarded P208B Sangley Point airport project

The consortium would be co-developing the project, providing the necessary equity investment and credit enhancements. And subject to a further competitive process or price test, it would perform engineering, procurement and construction services for the land and airport development components of the project.

The airport hub, which is being positioned as an alternative to congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the next big thing in air transport innovation in the country, will feature four runways as well as airside and landside facilities. The airport is expected to be on a par with Singapore’s Changi International Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, and South Korea’s Incheon International Airport.

Last June, the joint venture was granted another 90-day extension to submit its post-qualification requirements in view of the ongoing coronavirus disease pandemic. The first two-month extension was given last April.

The project’s first phase is slated for completion in 2022 and is expected to accommodate 75 million passengers yearly. The second phase of development will follow, with target completion of 2028. The airport can accommodate up to 130 million passengers annually once fully completed.